Health Canada Controls Make Pesticides Safe

12.02.01.Pesticide Debate200Letter to Kamloops City Council by Lorne Hepworth

Re: the issue of pesticides coming up again at Kamloops city council.

The British Columbia Special Committee on Pesticides studied the issue of urban pesticide use extensively and came to the conclusion that the current regulatory system in place protects people, animals and the environment. Therefore British Columbians should be able to continue to buy and use approved pesticides, as the study wisely pointed out.

Just as the committee discovered, when it comes to health and safety, before any pesticide can be sold in Canada, it must first be approved by Health Canada. This process involves a comprehensive set of over 200 tests and a review of all scientifically credible studies that exist to ensure that the product will not cause harm to people, animals or the environment. Only those products that meet Health Canada’s strict health and safety standards are registered for sale and use. Readers should also know how homeowners in Ontario feel about the ban now that it’s been in place for three years. A recent poll of Ontario homeowners shows over half feel the provincial government did not do the right thing by implementing a ban and they would rather have the ban scrapped or modified. The polling also found that many Ontarians are mixing potentially dangerous concoctions on their own or wilfully breaking the law by using pesticides that have been banned to protect their lawns and gardens. The fact of the matter is that pesticides used on lawns and gardens are designed as tools to address specific pest problems infesting valuable landscapes — they are not “cosmetic” at all. Pesticides help control threats to human health (such as rats and mosquitoes), they protect private and public properties from pest 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. I would encourage readers to visit Health Canada’s website to learn more about the safety of these products so they can make a decision on pesticide use based on scientific evidence.

LORNE HEPWORTH President, CropLife Canada – representing the plant science industry