Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Opinion
Classified Sites

Brandon Sun - PRINT EDITION

Regional Viewpoint -- Baseless pesticide claptrap

WINNIPEG — 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 more than 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, N.D.

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. This article also appeared in the Winnipeg Free Press. Conservation Minister Gord Mackintosh is expected to table the Environment Amendment Act (Reducing Pesticide Exposure) today.

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition April 22, 2014

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article is currently rated an average of 5 out of 5 (1 votes).
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 1 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on brandonsun.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

I agree with Mr Wiebe but Mr Wiebe will remain on the losing side of this war of words.

Sometimes emotion trumps logic and that is most certainly happening here.

It doesn't matter that Health Canada says 2,4-D and all other approved pesticides are safe enough. . It doesn't matter that 2,4-D has been constantly tested in Canada and other countries throughout its many decades of commercial use, without finding anything dangerous about it. None of that matters.

What matters is that there are too many armchair experts on the other side, egged on by the Usual Suspects,, including our NDP government. And they will have their way with us on this one.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

Comment
  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

WINNIPEG — 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.

Please subscribe to view full article.

Already subscribed? Login to view full article.

Not yet a subscriber? Click here to sign up

WINNIPEG — 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.

Subscription required to view full article.

A subscription to the Brandon Sun Newspaper is required to view this article. Please update your user information if you are already a newspaper subscriber.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
Sudden Surge: Flood of 2014
Opportunity Magazine — The Bakken
Why Not Minot?
Welcome to Winnipeg

Social Media