Top health groups disappointed by weak pesticide report

BC’s top health organizations are expressing disappointment after a BC legislative committee on cosmetic pesticides

Contributed

BC’s top health organizations are expressing disappointment after a BC legislative committee on cosmetic pesticides released a report today calling for weak restrictions on lawn and garden pesticides.

“If these recommendations become law, they will not protect all British Columbian children from being exposed to unnecessary chemicals and possible carcinogens,” said Barbara Kaminsky, CEO, Canadian Cancer Society, BC and Yukon. “We waited years for the BC government to follow the lead of other provinces and BC municipalities, and this is the result? The report was slow in coming and is weak in content. It is disappointing overall”.

The health groups – which include the Canadian Cancer Society, the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE), the Lung Association, the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and the Public Health Association of BC – had requested strong legislation banning the sale and use of all pesticides for lawns, gardens and non-agricultural landscaping.

“Doctors are displeased that, given all we know about pesticides and illness, the committee would offer something so weak” said CAPE Executive Director Gideon Forman. “We will continue to urge the BC government to implement strong province-wide cosmetic pesticide legislation, similar to Ontario’s.

There is broad public support for cosmetic pesticide legislation in BC. Over 70% of British Columbians support provincial legislation to restrict pesticide use, according to polling commissioned by the Canadian Cancer Society in 2010. More than 35 BC municipalities have already adopted bylaws restricting the cosmetic use of pesticides, and delegates at the 2008 and 2009 Union of BC Municipalities Conventions voted in favour of resolutions calling on the BC government to ban the use and sale of cosmetic pesticides province-wide.

During the two public consultations that the BC government has conducted (in 2010 and 2011), some 8,000 British Columbians responded to each consultation and the vast majority of respondents were in support of province-wide legislation. Most recently, health and environmental organizations succeeded in making pesticides an issue in the Port Moody-Coquitlam by-election.

“To say that a lot of people are afraid of chemicals because they don’t understand the science is insulting to the majority of British Columbians in support of legislation and those who responded to the committee’s consultation,” says Forman.

Considerable evidence supports a link between pesticides and cancer incidence, reproductive problems and neurological diseases. A definitive cause and effect relationship between cosmetic pesticide use and cancer is unlikely to be firmly established, but enough is known to be prudent and prevent exposure to children, especially when the use of these chemicals is unnecessary.

 

“We’ve conducted polling and an awareness campaign and in response thousands of citizens contacted the BC government in support of a ban,” says Forman. “Both the Premier and the Health Minister supported eliminating the use of cosmetic pesticides during the Liberal Party leadership race and we hope that they will continue to do so,” says Forman.

 

 

Just Posted

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

The Binche Fishing Derby at Stuart Lake is fast approaching. (Binche Fishing Derby Facebook photo)
Binche shares excitement for upcoming fishing derby

“It’s more than just fishing,” says Dave Birdi

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Local youth vaccination clinics underway

Pfizer vaccine will be used

Priya Sharma. (Submitted)
Column: Why ultimatums don’t work

By Priya Sharma It is a common misconception that people can choose… Continue reading

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

One Reconciliation Pole and two Welcome Figures were unveiled during a ceremony in honour of truth and reconciliation on National Peoples Indigenous Day at the Vancouver School District in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday, June 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Horgan marks Indigenous Peoples Day by urging recognition of systemic racism

National Indigenous Peoples Day has been marked in Canada since 1996

A man makes his way past signage to a mass COVID-19 vaccination centre at the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canadians encouraged to see mRNA shots as interchangeable as more 2nd doses open up

Doctos urge people not to hesitate if offered Moderna after getting Pfizer for their first shot

Chief of Defence Staff Jonathan Vance sits in the front row during a news conference in Ottawa on June 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Defence committee rises without report on Vance allegations

Committee had been investigating the government’s handling of complaints against former defence chief

The Coquihalla Lakes washroom is getting upgrades. (Submitted)
Coquihalla to get upgrades to aging washrooms

The Ministry of Transportation is providing $1 million in funding to upgrade 3 rest areas

The Sacred Hearts church on PIB land burned Monday morning. (Theresa May Jack/Facebook)
Two churches on First Nation land in South Okanagan burn to the ground

Sacred Hearts church on Penticton Indian Band land was reduced to rubble

Tl’etinqox-lead ceremony at the site of the former St. Joseph’s Mission in Williams Lake, B.C., June 18, 2021. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
‘We are all one people’: Honouring residential school victims and survivors

Love, support and curiousity: Canadians urged to learn about residential schools and their impact

Indigenous rights and climate activists gathered outside Liberty Mutual’s office in Vancouver to pressure the insurance giant to stop covering Trans Mountain. (Photo by Andrew Larigakis)
Activists work to ensure Trans Mountain won’t get insurance

Global campaign urging insurance providers to stay away from Canadian pipeline project

In the first election with public money replacing corporate or union donations, B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau and B.C. NDP leader John Horgan take part in election debate at the University of B.C., Oct. 13, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. MLAs ponder 2022 ‘sunset’ of subsidy for political parties

NDP, B.C. Fed call for increase, B.C. Liberals have no comment

Most Read