O.K. I know, this is a bit of a shocker; almost sacrilegious coming hot on the heels of Earth Day. However, I read an interesting article in the National Post a few days ago ("How pesticides are saving the Earth"- April 20) by Greenpeace co-founder Dr. Patrick Moore who says that the use of pesticides allows us to increase food production without destroying more forest and wilderness. Pesticides also enhance the quality of food, with less spoilage and loss to pests and disease.
"But activist groups with an anti-pesticide agenda continue to disseminate misinformation designed to scare and confuse the public. From the Environmental Working Group's 1989 campaign against the growth regulator Alar (a campaign which nearly destroyed the U.S. apple-growing industry), and continuing today with the likes of the Sierra Club and David Suzuki, the misguided bid to demonize pesticide use continues."
*Shudder* I know. David Suzuki is like this earth-god that everyone worships. I feel like a bolt of lightening is going to strike me any minute now.
However, there is a lot of junk science involved with these activists' claims. Our kids have been spoon-fed this stuff by unionized daycare workers and fear-mongering school teachers. Pesticides bad. You can get sick. Eat this rotten organic apple instead!
Dr. Moore says, "But activist groups with an anti-pesticide agenda continue to disseminate misinformation designed to scare and confuse the public. From the Environmental Working Group's 1989 campaign against the growth regulator Alar (a campaign which nearly destroyed the U.S. apple-growing industry), and continuing today with the likes of the Sierra Club and David Suzuki, the misguided bid to demonize pesticide use continues.
An international panel of cancer experts organized by the National Cancer Institute of Canada has reached much the same conclusion. Evaluating over 70 published studies, it concluded that contrary to allegations by some activists, it was "not aware of any definitive evidence to suggest that synthetic pesticides contribute significantly to overall cancer mortality."
So, if pesticides used in food do not pose a significant threat to human health, why are we getting our shorts in a knot about their very controlled use on lawns? Is anyone eating the grass? Even if they did, would it be harmful?
I know this is like environmental heresy, but I'm just saying don't buy into all the David Suzukis of the world.
Speaking of whom, I also just found out via our local rag, that the Environmental Guru himself is going to be speaking at University of Waterloo on Tuesday ("David Suzuki at 70: Keeping the Faith").
The Record says, "Suzuki and others in the movement have been successful in winning the ear of decision-makers, but with the election of the Stephen Harper Conservatives, they could be facing tough times ahead. Harper refused a request to meet with Suzuki after the election."
Wow, the gall of that guy - Stephen Harper that is. Imagine refusing to meet with David Suzuki! I mean, what was he thinking? What could be more important? Pamela Anderson? Paul McCartney? Brigit Bardot? Robin Williams? Dalton McGuinty?
The man clearly has his priorities all messed up.