Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Baseless pesticide claptrap

  • Print

I have heard several media reports on pesticides over the past week in which activist groups and the NDP government use language and terms that are both misleading and inaccurate. They continue to deceive the public with stories that twist scientific studies. They quote studies linking pesticides to cancer and therefore believe all pesticides are responsible for causing cancer and killing our children.

To quote the Health Canada website on the use of 2,4-D on lawns when children, pets, or pregnant women are present: "Health Canada found that 2,4-D does not increase the risk of cancer and can be used safely by homeowners, provided label directions are followed."

When the NDP government talks about a weed-control ban, this is what it means:

❚ Remove the most commonly used broadleaf weed control products such as WeedEx or Par III that have been used for over 40 years. The NDP says there is a list of alternative products; the fact is, there is only one, Fiesta. It is many times more expensive, requires the same safety precautions and is not registered to control many noxious weeds such as Canada thistle. There will be no products available to control thistle and many other provincially identified noxious weeds; the activists will tell you otherwise.

❚ Remove Round-up, the most commonly used product for controlling grass and weeds. The activists and NDP tell us it’s unsafe to use it on weeds on driveways and sidewalks, but Manitoba Agriculture allows it to be sprayed on cereal crops just weeks before harvest to help ripen the crop. How can it be safe on our food and not under our shoes?

❚ Remove the most commonly used insect-control products used to control chinch bugs, ants and sod webworm. No effective alternatives are available. The activists and NDP will tell you otherwise.

All these products are registered for use by Health Canada and have been used and tested for decades. In fact, 2,4-D was recently re-evaluated by both Health Canada and the EPA and determined to be safe when used as intended. The World Health Organization ranks holding a cellphone to your head as more hazardous than using this weed control. I tend to believe the expertise of Health Canada and science over small activist groups.

Almost 15,000 postcards from Manitobans opposed to a ban were delivered to Greg Selinger’s government about this time last spring. He has not responded to industry requests to be involved in shaping policy, nor to the 15,000 citizens opposed to a ban.

Many people use the services of professional lawn-care companies to proudly maintain their property. Seniors, the disabled and others on a fixed income will not be able to afford to use the so-called organic alternative available after an unnecessary ban.

The lawn-care industry is highly regulated. Applicators are well-trained and must have pesticide applicators’ licences. Companies require insurance and IPM accreditation and licensing. Additionally, they are required to post signage immediately after any treatment, identifying date and time of the treatment as well as the product used.

The lawn-care industry provides service to about half of all the houses in Winnipeg each summer in a safe, effective and affordable way. Incredibly, the ban will only affect licensed companies initially. Untrained homeowners will still be able to purchase and use off-the-shelf products for some time, and because the province doesn’t control federally approved products moving across the border there, will be a steady stream coming up from weekend trips to Grand Forks.

If health is really the issue, why haven’t they banned smoking yet? There are many products used on a daily basis such as gasoline, bleach and cleaning products, as well as chlorine in pools and hot tubs that may be a health risk but provide benefits when used properly. Lawn-care products are no different.

 

Ken Wiebe has been the owner of Eco Green Ltd., one of Winnipeg’s largest lawn-care companies, for the past 30 years.

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

Bombers look to snap two game slide vs. Montreal

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Gardening Column- Assiniboine Park English Garden. July 19, 2002.
  • An American White Pelican takes flight from the banks of the Red River in Lockport, MB. A group of pelicans is referred to as a ‘pod’ and the American White Pelican is the only pelican species to have a horn on its bill. May 16, 2012. SARAH O. SWENSON / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Did you suffer any damages from Thursday's storm?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google