Friday, March 19, 2010

Lorne Hepworth replies to Columnist Paul Hanley Saskatoon

Pesticide ban unwarranted
By Lorne Hepworth, The StarPhoenixMarch 19, 2010 Columnist Paul Hanley neglected to provide readers with some important information when he proposed that Saskatoon re-examine its pesticide use policy.

Well-maintained public and private landscapes make for happier, healthier communities. Sometimes, however, even the best-tended properties face threats from insects, weeds or disease. Pest control products exist to protect valuable green spaces.

As Canadians, we can rest assured that before any pesticide can be sold, it must undergo a comprehensive scientific review and risk assessment by Health Canada that includes a review of any scientifically credible studies available. Unlike the activist groups pushing to ban these highly scientific products, Health Canada cannot cherry-pick to achieve the results it wants.

Canada's plant science industry is committed to safety, and we demonstrate this continually by investing in research and development to create newer, safer and more environmentally friendly ways to control pests that harm people, property and crops.

Arbitrary pesticide bans do nothing to protect citizens; they merely create a situation where homeowners and municipalities are unable to use Health Canada-approved products to properly protect their investments in urban landscaping.

Our industry welcomes the opportunity to talk about the benefits our products provide and to answer questions people have. However it would be irresponsible of us not to set the record straight when there is misinformation about our products, particularly given the critical role these tools play in contributing to people's health and well-being by providing an abundant, varied and safe food supply.

Lorne Hepworth

President, CropLife Canada

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