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PEI group urges non-participation
In Pesticide Advisory Committee hearings

March 6, 2001
by Sharon Labchuk
Earth Action

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 recommendations public.

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 Earth Action
*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.