|Home||About Us||Message||Health||The Ban||Solutions||The News||Mission||Email Us|
A December 11 MacLean's Magazine Online Poll shows that 70% of respondents believe that lawn chemicals, (herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, fertilizers) are a threat to the health of Canadians.
A good many doctors and scientists would agree. This week, CAPE (Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment) issued a position statement asking that "in as timely a fashion as possible, all synthetic pesticide use should be abandoned". Strong words, especially from Canadian Doctors who typically remain mum on the most ominous of issues. Their position is heartily backed by a myriad of studies, some of which are authored by Canadian scientists and doctors.
In May, 2000 the House of Commons Committee on the Environment and Sustainable Development issued a 200 plus page report calling for profound change in pesticide use, registraion and residues on domestic and imported food. The paper, co-authored by Charles Caccia, MP Davenport, graphically detailed a litany of studies showing links between pesticide exposure and grave health effects, especially among children.
If Canada's doctors are concerned... and the public is worried, why is the federal government so slow to implement real and profound change?
It all comes down to dollars and cents. Economic comcerns lead the call to hold to the status quo. Representatives of NAFTA and the WTO may be pressuring the Feds to 'stay the course'. They believe that profound changes in pesticide regulations (ie severe restrictions on pesticide residues for imported foods) would hamper the 'free trade' movement.
Indeed. In order to protect Canadians from exposure to pesticides, new and progressive regulations would require a moratorium on all domestic and imported foods with detectable resiudes.
Another more frightening concern for the Feds is the loss of campaign contributions and program funding by pesticide manufacturers. Companies like Monsanto and Dupont make huge donations to political campaigns and to research programs at major universities. The loss of these investments would certainly have an impact. But prioritizing money over health is patently ridiculous. The global obsession over economy is rearing its ugly head and biting the very health of our planet in the ass.
To read the results of the MacLean's Poll and the corresponding emails, visit http://www.macleans.ca/pub-doc/hys/hys20001218_r.asp
-Bernard Frazer, Director, CAPS