Canadians Against Pesticides Editorial - Farmers: Warn me before you spray!
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FARMERS: Warn Me Before You Spray, Please.
- May 5, 2000

I, like the majority of non-farming Glanbrook residents, live on property that borders a great tract of farmland. Though my family enjoys the rural lifestyle immensely, each spring our concerns mount over the perennial practice of pesticide/herbicide application to this land.

There is no need to beat to death the fact that these chemicals pose very serious health risks, especially to children. What should be revisited is the fact that significant amounts of the chemicals sprayed, waft onto adjoining residential properties during application and, thus, affect families both during and after the application.

As conscientious parents, we (like other residents) make an effort to find out when spraying will be done, so that we may protect our children and ourselves from direct contact with these substances. However, these queries can often be met with great defensiveness and rancour. This leads me to believe that some farmers forget or overlook their moral and ethical obligation to the community.

No one will argue that today's farmers have it tough. Nor can anyone ignore their fundamental right to choose agriculture as their livelihood. But certain farmers need to be reminded that, just like any business, they have an undeniable ethical responsibility to inform the community of any potentially hazardous or harmful consequence precipitated by the operation of their business.

Mounting evidence shows significant links between pesticide/herbicide application and such diseases as cancer and Parkinson's. In light of this alone, it isn't too much to ask for a farmer to forewarn the community (or at very least the residents neighboring his land) when he is going to spray. It just seems like good, old-fashioned common sense.

Bernard Frazer, Canadians Against Pesticides