Pesticide Legislation in Canada

October 8th, 2003

To the Editor,

Sorry Globe and Mail but your article, “Ottawa Unaware of Pesticide Dangers” (10/8/03), is missing the point. Industry is sidetracking all of us with demands for proof of harm for X amount of pesticide spray entering the body of person Y.

Industry offers its limited and poorly conducted research on a few active ingredients for pesticide formulations which are not expected to fell healthy adult males. The fact that the population is mostly made up of the more vulnerable children, women, elderly and ill persons, is ignored. All are required to endure variable amounts of the tested ingredient along with other, untested, toxic components of the entire product formulation as it enters the airspace of all and sundry. Residues last for indeterminate lengths of time depending upon weather conditions, presence of sunlight etc. No one speaks of the toxic residues left as the original chemicals break down leaving new ones which may be even more toxic such as maloxon, a byproduct of malathion.

The point should be this: Pesticides should be registered for use in urban settings only when formulations are used which will NOT ENTER THE HUMAN BODY. It is ludicrous to base legislation upon how much poison we are supposed to carry around in our bodies like ticking time bombs. Gel bait formulations do not have to become airborne when applied appropriately. GRAS (generally recognized as safe) formulations have shown efficacy as insecticides and repellants such as liquid soap, vinegar and garlic etc. Sanitation is a very effective means of reducing pests.

The law does not require one to let a criminal into our homes to harm us. Yet we are legally required to take in poisons to steal our health or use up our bodily defenses on those products instead of our own anti-aging functions. All for the convenience of industry, who finds it more profitable to “spray and run” than carefully apply available and safer methods of pest control.

I am permanently disabled and brain injured from pesticide poisoning. The chemicals were not applied in my own office or home but freely entered those private domains from applications in neighboring apartments and rooms. Then they entered my body through lungs and skin absorption into the central nervous system. My life has been ruined – not by chemicals but the governments who refuse to protect my right to breath uncontaminated air. By industry who co-opts my body to serve as a miniature toxic waste treatment plant for their profit. I consider it supremely bad taste for people to debate how much poison I must now take in while grocery shopping in a store; reading in a library, walking past manicured lawns in residential neighborhoods or parks etc. When challenged by industry’s arguments that pesticides are safe because they exit the body rapidly, a prominent toxicologist, Dr. Abou-Donia replied, “So does a bullet.”.

Categories: Globe and Mail

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