PEI group urges non-participation
In Pesticide Advisory Committee hearings
March 6, 2001
by Sharon Labchuk
Once again Earth Action is urging groups and individuals to NOT participate
in the Province's annual Pesticides Advisory Committee hearings on March
27. Set up to advise Minister of Agriculture Mitch Murphy on pesticide
policy, the committee holds annual public meetings where anyone can make a
presentation. The committee then makes recommendations to the minister who
is under no obligation to consider any of them, or indeed, even to make the
This committee and the public hearing process is clearly a propaganda
exercise - to give the appearance of democracy in action. By participating
you will legitimize a totally corrupt process. Earth Action no longer
wastes time checking on who are the committee members but last time we did
- in 1999 - the handpicked committee was stacked with pesticide
sympathizers. There were several government employees, the local Zeneca
peddler (David Thompson sells cancer-causing hormone-disrupting
pesticides), a conventional grower, a nurse with ag industry connections
and one organic grower.
John Bukowski, former committee chair, was a public supporter of
pesticides, denouncer of environmentalists, and ex-employee of one of the
world's largest pharmaceutical and chemical companies. As chair he listened
to many first-hand testimonies from Islanders affected by or concerned with
pesticide poisoning. Some comments made by Bukowski before he went back to
the US (Guardian, Nov. 1997):
- "The number pouf actual problems and significant drift onto people's
property is rare. Smelling an application (of chemical spray) is not
drift, it's like smelling someone tar a driveway."
- "The more you concentrate on the myths surrounding the use of farm
chemicals, the more you forget the real problems impacting health."
- Housewives who feel more important by touting or promoting (the myths)
can't change the facts."
Don't degrade yourself or let government and industry use you as a willing
participant in this corrupt process. Instead, if you have something to say:
*write a letter to the editor
*write an article for a community newsletter
*write or copy an article and stick it in mailboxes in your community;
email it to everyone you know
*make a presentation to a community group
*make a web page
*organize a public protest
*start a community group or help
*if you feel talking to the minister is worthwhile, then make an
appointment and tell him what you think in person. This is what the
pro-pesticide lobby does.
*DON'T GIVE UP - keep up the pressure. Getting rid of pesticides isn't
going to happen without a critical mass.