Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Pesticide ban skews evidence

  • Print

CropLife Canada, which represents the makers and distributors of pesticides, was in Winnipeg this week to challenge the decision of the Manitoba government to ban such chemicals next year.

In a meeting with the Free Press editorial board, CropLife president Lorne Hepworth said the anti-chemical legislation is based more on the emotional responses of an uninformed public than on science or empirical evidence.

Mr. Hepworth, a former Saskatchewan minister of agriculture, said Manitoba based its decision on studies that are not as valid as the library of research accumulated over the decades by Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency, which has concluded the pesticides are safe.

The province cited isolated research in defending its decision, but Mr. Hepworth said those studies are not nearly as authoritative as Health Canada's conclusions, which are similar to other regulatory agencies in the world, including the United States.

He may have a vested interest, but he also has a valid point, as Quebec discovered in 2006 when it banned the pesticide 2,4-D, the active ingredient in Killex.

The U.S. manufacturer launched a suit under NAFTA legislation and forced Quebec to acknowledge the chemical was perfectly safe, whether used by homeowners or farmers. The province, however, set aside the science but kept the ban.

If the will of Manitobans is they don't want pesticides used in their neighbourhoods, then so be it. But Manitobans should have been properly informed and the evidence of the best experts on the subject should not have been ignored. Manitoba's ban is to be phased in next year, but the province needs to commit to a public re-evaluation of its decision after a reasonable period. In the meantime, the NDP government should explain why it claims pesticides are universally unsafe while allowing farmers to use chemicals that are even more potent than those banned in urban areas.

Editorials are the consensus view of the Winnipeg Free Press’ editorial board, comprising Catherine Mitchell, David O’Brien, Shannon Sampert, and Paul Samyn.

Editorials are the consensus view of the Winnipeg Free Press’ editorial board, comprising Catherine Mitchell, David O’Brien, Shannon Sampert, and Paul Samyn.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 18, 2013 A10

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Jets fans take Anaheim by storm

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
  • Geese fly in the morning light over Selkirk Ave Wednesday morning- Day 22– June 13, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you agree with the sale of the Canadian Wheat Board to foreign companies?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google