Call for more comprehensive ban on sale of pesticides renewed

Frank Gale fgale@thewesternstar.com
Published on September 6, 2016
Call for more comprehensive ban on pesticides

The Coalition for Alternative to Pesticides – Newfoundland and Labrador (CAP-NL) is renewing a call for a more comprehensive ban on the sale and use of toxic pesticides in this province.

This follows a recent national report on pesticide regulation in Canada.

In a prepared release, CAP-NL said the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE ) in a recently released report, "Cosmetic Pesticides – Provincial Policies & Municipal Bylaws: Lessons Learned & Best Practices," Aug. 30, 2016,  reviewed  and critiqued federal, provincial/territorial and municipal cosmetic pesticide regulations and bylaws in Canada.

The term “cosmetic pesticides” refers to pesticides used for non-essential purposes to improve the appearance of landscaping elements such as lawns, trees, gardens, shrubs and other ornamental plants.

The report stated significant progress has been made in reducing cosmetic pesticide use and sales across Canada; however, Newfoundland and Labrador, which only prohibits a relatively small number of pesticides, was given a D-grade.

The report stated residents in Newfoundland and Labrador have very limited protection from pesticides.

CAP-NL agrees with the findings in the CAPE report and is making eight recommendations to the Provincial Environment Minister and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.

The first is that in line with best practices in other provinces create a more comprehensive White List of Pesticides that identifies acceptable and safe pesticides to be used for cosmetic purposes.

Second, ensure an improved ban on toxic pesticides is sufficiently broad and covers all landscape elements and not just lawns.

Third, combine improved pesticide regulations with better enforcement and public education; fourth, create new regulations that address pesticides used in indoor environments.

Fifth, narrow the scope of exceptions from the pesticides ban and tightly define the exceptions; sixth, support cooperation between the federal, provincial and  municipal governments to improve protection against toxic pesticide exposures.

Seventh, remove the exception for golf courses in the regulations and employ a permitting and registry system to track and enforce permitted exceptions and eighth, initiate annual random audits for retailers of pesticides.

CAP-NL is a provincial coalition of health and environmental organizations and citizens whose mandate is to defend basic rights to health and environmental quality and to eliminate the use of toxic substances such as pesticides and replace them with ecologically sound alternatives.