YOUR VIEW: Pesticides

There’s nothing cosmetic about pesticides that are used on lawns and gardens as tools designed to address specific pest problems infesting valuable landscapes. Unfortunately, a recent editorial portrayed common misconceptions about these products that should be addressed.

Regarding the editorial “Here’s to a less toxic environment” (Mirror, May 18).

There’s nothing cosmetic about pesticides that are used on lawns and gardens as tools designed to address specific pest problems infesting valuable landscapes. Unfortunately, a recent editorial portrayed common misconceptions about these products that should be addressed.

Pesticides help control threats to human health (such as rats and mosquitoes), they protect private and public properties from insect, weed and disease infestations and they help ensure that Canadians have a safe and affordable supply of food thereby contributing to healthier communities and greater well-being and prosperity.

Furthermore, only a handful of provinces have instituted unscientific, arbitrary bans and the negative consequences are starting to show, including illegal pesticide use, loss of green space, increased municipal maintenance costs, and homeowner frustration.

When it comes to health and safety, readers should know that before any pesticide can be sold in Canada it must undergo a rigorous scientific review and risk assessment by Health Canada.

In addition to a comprehensive set of over 200 tests, Health Canada also reviews all additional scientifically credible studies that exist.

Through this process pesticides receive a greater breadth of scrutiny than any other regulated product  and only those products that meet Health Canada’s strict health and safety standards are registered for sale and use.

The fact of the matter is that a provincial ban of pesticide use in B.C. would prevent residents from using safe and effective tools, approved by Health Canada, to protect their personal property from insect, weed and disease infestations.

Pesticides can be safely used and Canadians should feel comfortable if they choose to use them.

Lorne Hepworth, president, CropLife Canada