No Ban for BC

"The majority
of the committee
does not think
the scientific evidence,
at this time,
warrants
an outright ban."

Don't ban cosmetic pesticides, B.C. MLAs recommend
May 17 2012
CBC News Post.

See Special Committee
on Cosmetic Pesticides
May 17, 2012 News Release
and Report.

See Clark Government's
February 20, 2013
minor legislative changes
for mandatory IPM
on residential lawns
. . . the only action
taken by the Liberals.

The sale and use of
cosmetic pesticides
will not be banned in BC.

No Ban Needed - CropLife

"We encourage
responsible use of pesticides
for all their uses including:

• urban green spaces,
including lawns and gardens
• agriculture/horticulture/
forestry/industrial
vegetation management
• structural pest control
• golf courses and
recreational
sports turf
• personal use
including insect repellents
and pool chemicals".

CropLife Canada's
Nov 7, 2011 Presentation
to Special Committee,
See Slide 5.

IEPMA Opposes Bans

"The IEPMA has decided
to develop
a proactive program
and business plan
with
the express purpose
of opposing
the anti-pesticide activists
and the bans
they have been promoting."

John Holland & Jacquie Doherty
Integrated Environmental
Plant Management Assoc of Western Canada
.

Ont Ban Reduces Risk

"You can have
a healthy lawn and garden
without
the unnecessary risk
posed by using
conventional pesticides
for purely cosmetic reasons.

We are reducing
the risk to our health
and to the environment,
and protecting
the most vulnerable
of our citizens, our children."

Minister of the Environment
April 21, 2010 News Release 
on first anniversary
of Ontario's ban.

Healthy Nova Scotia Ban

"We are making it easier
for the people
of this province
to limit their exposure
to unnecessary chemicals."

Minister of Environment
announcing April 1, 2011
sale and use
pesticide regulations.

For the allowable 
pesticides list, click here.
For exceptions, click here.

Emergency Use Only

"It cannot be
emphasized enough
that children
at all stages of growth
are the primary victims
of our overuse
of chemicals.

As many of the effects
of exposure to pesticides
are chronic,
they may well suffer
the consequences
of exposure
all their lives
and even pass this on
to the next generation.

. . Pesticide use should
only
be permitted
in an emergency,
such as
a serious pest infestation
which threatens
the health of people
and the environment.

. . The Committee urges
the government,
in partnership with the provinces,
territories and municipalities,
to develop
a strategy
for the
gradual phase-out
of pesticides used
for cosmetic purposes."

Pesticides,
Making the right choice
for the Protection
of Health and the Environment
.

Parliamentary Standing Committee on Environment
and Sustainable Development. 
May 2000 Report.
Section 12

PMRA's Conflict of Interest

" . . we asked ourselves
whether it is possible
for one agency,
the Pest Management Regulatory Agency
(PMRA), to perform
two virtually
conflicting tasks,
namely that of
approving
chemical pesticides
as requested
by industry
while
at the same time
regulating them
in order
to protect
human health."

Pesticides, Making the right choice for the Protection of Health and the Environment
.

Parliamentary Standing Committee
on Environment and
Sustainable Development. 
May 2000 Report.

 See Chair's Preface to Report.

Print "Pesticide Free" Poster

poster
Click on image
to print this poster.
Put it up in your
neighbourhood.

Together, let's make
BC pesticide free!

We're a Human Experiment

"We are a human experiment
without records being kept. . .

The spreading and the spraying
of chemicals on
lawns, trees and houses
is against
the common right
of all citizens
to breathe clean air
and to remain in health."

Are pesticides killing
the boy next door?

Dr. June Irwin, Feb 9, 1991.

Help BC go Pesticide Free!

The Canadian Cancer Society
continues to lead BC's
health and environmental
groups' advocacy for a
province-wide ban.

See Coalition's Feb 3, 2012
ban statement.

Review ban legislation
given to BC's Environment
Minister in 2010.

Join the CCS's "Pesticide Free
BC" Facebook discussions.

Take action! to help BC
go pesticide free.
Precautionary Approach for Pesticide Use
The precautionary principle is the "better safe  than sorry" approach to public health and environmental policy.

The precautionary principle means that products or practices known to be harmful to human health or the environment must be avoided before there is overwhelming proof of harm . . . as happened with asbestos, second hand smoke, thalidomide and urea formaldehyde.

1972 Stockholm Declaration
Four decades ago, this public health protection principle was put forth at the June 16, 1972 Stockholm Declaration of the United Nation (UN) Conference on the Human Environment.

1992 Rio Earth Summit
Twenty years later, at the UN's June 1992 Earth Summit,  the "Rio Declaration" established the precautionary principle as the international "gold medal" standard for public health protection:
"In order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall be widely applied by States according to their capabilities.

Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation." 


See Principle 15.
For two decades, it has been accepted internationally that the lack of scientific certainty is not justification to stall (or obstruct) the passage of protective health laws, like pesticide bans. 

See right sidebars . . . "Precautionary Fed Report", "Precautionary EU", Don't Need 100% Certainty", "Precaution with Pesticides" and "No Safe Application".

See left sidebars . . . "No Ban for BC", "No Ban Needed - Croplife", "IEPMA Opposes Bans", "Ont Ban Reduces Risk" and "Healthy Nova Scotia Ban".

1998 Wingspread Conference
The 1998 Wingspread Conference on Implementing the Precautionary Principle reinforced the "better safe than sorry" approach to public health protection:

"Corporations, government entities, organizations, communities, scientists and other individuals must adopt a precautionary approach to all human endeavors.

Therefore it is necessary to implement the Precautionary Principle:

'Where an activity raises threats of harm to the environment or human health,    precautionary    measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically.'

In this context the proponent of an activity, rather than the public, bears the burden of proof."

2000 House of Commons Report
In Canada, it's been over a decade since the federal Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development submitted its' Pesticides, Making the right choice for the Protection of Health and Environment May 2000 report.

This Parliamentary Committee recommendations included:
  • Using the precautionary approach to protect children, who are "the primary victims of our overuse of chemicals." 
  • Using pesticides only in an emergency, such as a serious pest infestation which "threatens the health of people and the environment."
  • Establishing a moratorium on cosmetic pesticide use "until science has proven that the pesticides involved do not constitute a health threat."
  • Establishing a national strategy to phase-out cosmetic pesticide use across Canada.
See left sidebars . . . "Emergency Use Only" and "PMRA Conflict of Interest". 

2003 Federal Auditor General Report
Similar concerns about the health and safety of Canadians were reported to Parliament in the Auditor General's 2003 Report of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development.

2001 Hudson Supreme Court Ruling
It is also over a decade since the Canadian Supreme Court used the precautionary principle as the legal basis for Canada's pesticide laws. 

On June 28, 2001, our Supreme Court ruled unanimously in support of Canada's first precautionary pesticide bylaw passed by Hudson, Quebec on May 6, 1991.

See "Precautionary Hudson Case" right sidebar.

This decision remains the legal basis for Canadian provinces and local governments with bans or restrictions on  pesticides.

2007 Canadian Medical Association Resolutions
In 2007, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) urged all levels of government to follow the precautionary principle and stop using cosmetic pesticides.

See "CMA 2007 Resolutions" right sidebar.

Accept the Research

Today, numerous international and Canadian medical experts, and other public health authorities, know there is enough scientific and medical evidence to justify pesticide bans.

This includes the Canadian Cancer Society, BC and Yukon, who said in their January 8, 2010 news release that:
"It is time for the provincial government to accept the research and listen to the vast majority of British Columbians who want pesticide legislation."
See bottom right sidebar . . . "BC Must Accept Research".

Precautionary Approach Supporters

There are many international and Canadian medical authorities and government organizations that support the "better safe than sorry" approach to protect humans and the environment from harmful pesticide exposure.

Supporters of the precautionary principle include . . .

the Auditor General of Canada, BC's Interior Health Authority, the Canadian Cancer Society, the European Union, the Governments of Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec, Manitoba's Round Table for Sustainable Development, Toronto Public Health, the United Nations and the United States'  Environmental Protection Agency.

Here are examples supporting the use of the precautionary principle for public policy decisions on cosmetic pesticide use . . . 
  1. American Academy of Pediatrics. Pesticide Exposure in Children. Published on line Nov 26, 2012.
  2. Auditor General of Canada. Report of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development. October 2003.
  3. Bassil, K.L. et al (October 2007). "Cancer Health Effects of Pesticides; Systematic Review." Canadian Family Physician. 53: 1704 - 1711.
  4. Beyond Pesticides. "Children and Lawn Chemicals Don't Mix". A Beyond Pesticides Fact Sheet. Vol 25. No. 2. 2005. Pages 15 - 17.
  5. Bouchard, M. F. et al. (June 2010).  "Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Urinary Metabolites of Organophosphate Pesticides".  Vol. 125 No. 6. Pages 2009 - 3058.
  6. Canadian Cancer Society , British Columbia and Yukon Division. UTurn for Change Environmental CarciNOgens. 2008.
  7. Canadian Cancer Society. Canadian Cancer Statistics 2009. Special Topic: Cancer in Adolescents and Young Adults.
  8. Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE). See Pesticides.
  9. CAPE. Children's Environmental Health Project.
  10. CAPE. "Lawn and Garden Pesticides - Reducing Harm" Video released September 29, 2005.
  11. Canadian Medical Association. Annual General Meeting 2007. Resolutions 68 - 70.
  12. Carson, Rachel. Silent Spring. Houghton Mifflin Company. 1962. See also the Silent Spring Institute website.
  13. CHEMTrust. A Review of the Role Pesticides Play in Some Cancers: Children, Farmers and Pesticide Users at Risk? July 2010.
  14. Colburn, Theo et al. Our Stolen Future. Are We Threatening Our Fertility, Intelligence and Survival? A Scientific Detective Story. Penguin Books. 1996. See also Our Stolen Future website.
  15. Cox, Caroline. Ten Reasons Not To Use Pesticides. Journal of Pesticide Reform. Vol 26. Issue 2. 10 – 12 Summer 2006.
  16. David Suzuki Foundation. Northern Exposure: Acute Pesticide Poisonings in Canada. 2007.
  17. Environmental Defence. Toxic Nation: A Report on Pollution in Canadians. 2005.
  18. Environmental Defence. Polluted Children, Toxic Nation: A Report on Pollution in Canadian Families. 2006.
  19. European Union.
  20. Government of Nova Scotia.
  21. Government of Ontario.
  22. Government of Quebec.
  23. Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility. In Harm's Way: Toxic Threats to Child Development. May 2000.
  24. Guillette, Elizabeth A, et al (June 1998). An Anthropological Approach to the Evaluation of Preschool Children Exposed to Pesticides in Mexico. Environmental Health Perspectives. 106: 347 – 353.
  25. House of Commons, Canada. Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development. Pesticides, Making the Right Choice for the Protection of Health and Environment. May 2000.
  26. (The) Journal of Pesticide Reform's pesticide ingredient database.
  27. Manitoba Round Table for Sustainable Development. Recommendation for a Provincial Ban on the Cosmetic Use of Pesticides. A Background Paper. April 2011.
  28. Michaels, David. Doubt Is Their Product. How Industry’s Assault on Science Threatens Your Health. 2008.
  29. Myers, Peter and Wendy Hessler. "Does 'the dose make the posion?' Extensive results challenge a core assumption in toxicology." Environmental Health News. April 30, 2007.
  30. Ontario College of Family Physicians. Pesticide Literature Review. April 23, 2004.  
  31. Ontario College of Family Physicians. 2012 Systematic Review of Pesticide Health Effects. June 19, 2012.
  32. Ontario College of Family Physicians. Pesticides And your health …. Information from your family doctor. Undated.
  33. Pesticide Action Network International (PAN). Briefing Paper on the Precautionary Principle. Undated.
  34. Porter, Rob. BC Medical Health Officer, Interior Health Authority, North Okanagan. MHO Statement on Cosmetic Pesticide Reduction Efforts. October 19, 2008.
  35. Porter, Warren. Facing Scientific Realities, Debunking the"Dose Makes the Poison" Myth. The Big Picture: Linking pesticide science and health effects. Pesticides and You. Vol. 27. No. 4. 2007 - 08. Pages 16 - 23.
  36. Rampton, Sheldon and John Stauber. Trust Us, We're Experts! How Industry Manipulates Science and Gambles with Your Future. 2001.
  37. Raffensperger, Carolyn and Joel Tickner, ed. Protecting Public Health and the Environment. Implementing the Precautionary Principle. 1999.
  38. Raphael, Debbie. Replacing Poisons with Precaution in Pest Management. The vision driving the precautionary principle. Pesticides and You. Vol  27 No. 3. 2007. Pages 13 - 17.
  39. Sanborn, M. et al (October 2007). "Non-cancer health effects of pesticides: Systematic review and implications for family doctors." Canadian Family Physician. 53: 1712 - 1720.
  40. Sears, Meg et al (April 2006). Pesticide assessment: Protecting public health on the home turf. Paediatric & Child Health.  Vol. 11 No. 4. Pages 229 - 234.
  41. Schafer, Kristin S. et al. Chemical Trespass Pesticides in Our Bodies and Corporate Accountability. Pesticide Action Network North America. May 2004.
  42. Smith, Rick and Bruce Lourie. Slow Death by Rubber Duck. How the Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Life Affects our Health. 2009.
  43. Steingraber, Sandra. Living Downstream. An Ecologist's Personal Investigation of Cancer and the Environment. 2nd Ed. 2010.
  44. Supreme Court of Canada. Canada Ltée (Spraytech, Société d’arrosage) v. Hudson (Town), [2001] 2 S.C.R. 241, 2001 SCC 40. (aka The Hudson Case).
  45. Toronto Public Health. See Health Effects.
  46. Toronto Public Health. Lawn and Garden Pesticides: A Review of Human Exposure & Health Effects Research. April 2002.
  47. Toronto Public Health. Pesticides and Health Effects - Backgrounder. May 2002.
  48. Toronto Public Health. Pesticide Free. . . .  A Guide to Natural Lawn and Garden Care. August 2004.
  49. Toronto Public Health.  Playing It Safe: Healthy Choices about Lawn Care Products. April 2002.
  50. United Nations. Childhood Pesticide Poisoning: Information for Advocacy and Action. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and World Health Organization (WHO). 2004.
  51. United States. Department of Health and Human Services. National Toxicology Program. 11th Report on Carcinogens. January 31, 2005.
  52. United States. Environmental Protection Agency.
  53. Vandenberg et al. "Hormones amd Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals: Low Does Effects and Nonmonotonic Dose Responses". Endocrine Reviews, June 2012, 33(3):378 - 455.
  54. Winchester, Paul D., et al (April 2009). Agrichemicals in surface water and birth defects in the United States. Acta Pædiatrica. Vol 98. Issue 4. Pages 664 - 669.
  55. World Health Organization. International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

For more info on . . .
  • Why we all need to be concerned about cosmetic pesticides, see the other topics in this section:

    Pesticide are Killers  Risk of Exposure  Risk to Human Health and  Risk to the Environment.

  • Why Health Canada does not protect the health of any Canadian, click here.

  • For the more than 100 groups, organizations, local governments and school districts that have Pesticide Free initiatives throughout BC, click here.

  • Why BC needs a strong "no IPM" ban (like Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec) and why this won't happen under the BC Liberals, click here.

 

For the more than 100 groups, organizations, local governments and school districts that have Pesticide Free initiatives throughout BC, click here.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 September 2013 13:59
 

Tell Premier Clark she needs to honour her 2011 pesticide ban commitment.

Call the Premier's office at 250 387 1715 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Together, let's make BC pesticide free.

                                                                   
 


Precautionary EU

"The precautionary principle
enables rapid response
in the face
of
a possible danger
to human, animal
or plant health,
or
to protect
the environment.

In particular,
where scientific data
do not permit
a complete evaluation
of the risk,
recourse to this principle
may, for example,
be used
to stop distribution
or
order withdrawal
from the market
of products likely
to be hazardous."

European Union website.

Precautionary Fed Report

"The lack of
scientific certainty
should not be allowed
to impede effective action
to protect
human health
and the environment
against actual or suspected
harm caused by pesticides. . . 

Appropriate preventive
measures are to be taken
where there is reason
to believe that
a pesticide
is likely to cause harm,
even when there is no
conclusive evidence
to prove
a causal relation
between the pesticide
and its effects."

Pesticides, Making the right choice for the Protection of Health and the Environment.
Parliamentary Standing Committee on Environment
and Sustainable Development. 
May 2000 Report.
Executive Summary. p. 3.

Don't Need 100% Certainty

"The Precautionary Principle states
that if an action or policy
has a suspected risk
of causing harm
to the public
or the environment,
a lack
of full scientific certainty
shall not be used
as a reason for postponing
cost‐effective measures
to prevent
environmental degradation
(United Nations General Assembly, 1992).

There is extensive evidence
on the serious
negative health and
environmental impacts
from the use
of cosmetic pesticides.

Therefore,
some dissenting views
and
a lack of full consensus
on scientific evidence
should not prevent action
against the use
of cosmetic pesticides."

Recommendation for a
Provincial Ban on the
Cosmetic Use of Pesticides
.
Manitoba Round Table for
Sustainable Development. 
Background Paper.
April 2011, page 3.

Precaution with Pesticides

"We can promote
the use of the
precautionary principle
in the area
of pesticide use.

This principle asserts
when an activity
raises threats
of harm
to human health
or the environment,
precautionary measures
should be taken
even if
some cause and effect
relationships
are not
fully understood."
Ontario College
of Family Physicians.
April 23, 2004. p 174.

No Safe Application

" Canadian cosmetic
pesticide bans were
the result of the findings
of independent science,
which had to overcome
the pressure
exerted
by self interested
industry lobbyists,
who claim that pesticides
are safe
as long as they are
'properly' applied
and the quantities
are moderate.

This is mere
industry propaganda,
to which,
unfortunately,
some city councillors
tend to succumb.

Training to apply pesticides
'properly'
protects only the applicator,
and chemicals can be
harmful
even when applied in
minute quantities."

Jean Cottam
Honorary Canadian observer,
US Pesticide Working Group.

LTE  The Telegram
Dec 8, 2009

Precautionary Hudson Case

"In order to achieve
sustainable development,
policies must be
based on the
precautionary principle.

Environmental measures
must anticipate,
prevent and attack
the causes of
environmental degradation.

Where there are threats
of serious or
irreversible damage,
lack of full
scientific certainty
should not
be used
as a reason
for postponing
measures to prevent
environmental degradation."

June 28, 2001 Hudson Ruling
Supreme Court of Canada

CMA 2007 Resolutions

In 2007,
the Canadian Medical
Association urged  
"all levels of government
to show leadership
by refraining from the
cosmetic use
of pesticides
and
aggressively
employing
safer alternatives
to the use of chemicals."

Cdn Medical Assoc AGM 2007.
See Resolutions 68 - 70.

BC Must Accept Research

"It is time for
the provincial government
to accept the research
and
listen to
the vast majority
of British Columbians
who want
pesticide legislation.

. . A growing body
of evidence
in published studies
from the
World Health Organization
and US Environmental
Protection Agency
on
the carcinogenicity
of pesticides
points to
an increased risk
of cancer
to both
adults and children:
cancers that include
leukemia,
non-Hodgkin lymphoma,
prostate, brain,
and lung.

'By eliminating
these harmful agents
from
our lawns, gardens,
sports fields, playgrounds
and
recreation areas,
we will be helping
to prevent cancer
in
children and adults
and
we will be promoting
a sustainable environment
at the same time.' "

Canadian Cancer Society,
BC and Yukon.
Jan 8, 2010 News Release.