Thursday, April 24, 2008

So much to say, so little time

There are a plethora of topics out there today, so I think I'll launch a series of short posts to address them and readers can weigh in as they like.

The first one is this morning's editorial in the Record which shocked me to the core. Why? Because they said everything I was thinking about Felix's proposed Ontario pesticide ban - and then some.

The editorial (Pesticide ban is unwarranted) explains that this isn't about the environment. It's about politics and pandering to very vocal special-interest groups:

...It will, come next spring, be illegal for residents of Kitchener's Rockway neighbourhood to use pesticides in their yards. But why will Rockway Golf Course in the same neighbourhood be allowed to spray pesticides on their greens and fairways? And why will golf courses beside residential neighbourhoods from one end of the region to the other -- in Elmira, Conestogo, Waterloo's Grey Silo Golf Course, Westmount, Kitchener's Doon, Cambridge's Galt Country Club -- all be exempt from the chemical ban McGuinty argues is so essential? Are these chemicals dangerous or not?

The answer is obvious. This ban is about politics, not science. And it is driven by political desire and public fear, not reason...

( . . . )

The fact is, to accept the need for McGuinty's ban, you need to conclude that Health Canada has been hopelessly wrong and inept -- not just on one occasion but consistently and for decades. Some would argue it has. However, it's worth knowing that Health Canada has, in the past and based on newer research, removed some pesticides from the list available to the general population.

Every time Canadians buy a prescription drug, they place their faith in Health Canada, which regulates our pharmaceuticals. When they accept laws to limit exposure to cigarette smoke, Canadians do so because Health Canada found tobacco to be carcinogenic. And just last week, the federal government began a process that will probably lead to a ban on the chemical bisphenol A, which is used in some plastic bottles and as food liners. Why? Because Health Canada sounded the alarm. So explain the selective trust.

For those who dismiss the wisdom and science of Health Canada, and there will be some, it is worth listening to Keith Solomon, director of the Centre for Toxicology at the University of Guelph. "There is no evidence to suggest a health risk from these chemicals,'' Solomon said bluntly of the substances McGuinty is banning. "This will not make any difference to the health of Ontarians.'' As for the ban itself, he is scathing: "It doesn't make sense because it is nonsensical...''

It's almost enough to make me regret cancelling my subscription.

But the opposition parties will cave to the bellowing of the special interest groups because they are just as pathetic as this government.

Civil liberties continue to be eroded by weak-kneed politicians. It's the story of our times.


Ruth said...

What gets me is these same people that are afraid of chemicals on the grass will slather chemicals all over their body in the form of sunscreeen and never question what's in it.
The label says to wait until the skin absorbs it to protect from the sun's rays. We are absorbing what?

maryT said...

And how many of these people that are afraid think nothing of flushing unused drugs (prescription) down the toilet. This is a common practice in seniors lodges, and hospitals, etc in the USA. CNN had a show on showing pails of pill going down the toilet. Unused pills from those that die or leave. They were empting bubble packs by the dozens and flushing. Where do they all end up. Does this happen in Canada also. And we wonder why our water supply has traces of all kinds of drugs in it.

Anna Keightley said...

RE the ban on lawn and garden pesticides spraying. There some studies being done that are looking at link between use of pesticides and autism incidents. When you think about it, manicured lawns have become increasingly popular in last couple of decades and autism rates are up exponentially in same time period. Here's a google result on some studies. Link below:,GGLG:2005-47,GGLG:en&q=pesticides+studies+implicated+in+autism