The Province of Manitoba is currently seeking the views of citizens regarding the cosmetic use of pesticides.
As a citizen, I trust legislators to look beyond the polls and consider the truth about the regulatory system that is in place to ensure that the pesticide products approved for use in our country are safe and effective.
The expert scientists at Health Canada, who are responsible for the approval of pesticide products, have repeatedly stated that pesticides can be used safely and are not a health or environmental concern. In fact, there is no scientific evidence to suggest pesticides are dangerous when applied according to the label recommendations.
The problem with a cosmetic pesticide ban in Manitoba is that the effects cannot be contained. Surrounding properties, including farmland and farmers, will be impacted. A ban would turn Manitoba communities into nurseries for dandelions and other invasive weeds. These weeds will cross the roads and fences to land which is tasked with feeding the world’s growing population. The thousands of acres of productive farmland surrounding these communities will receive weed seeds that float on the wind and water, not just a few days, but every day.
I farm beside a village and already experience some of the not so beneficial problems of location. Plastic and other forms of garbage blow out of town on the wind and catch on the stubble that we leave to conserve moisture and keep our land from eroding. There are other examples of how we are already challenged by living close to town and we don’t need to add more weeds on top of that.
If the provincial government does not have the faith in its citizens to properly apply pesticides, then it is the education/communication system that is at fault. Please don’t penalize farmers by moving ahead with the implementation of a provincewide ban on the cosmetic use of pesticides.
I hope the Province of Manitoba will give me a chance to continue to produce food at a reasonable cost and not incur increased costs to remove the weeds that originated in town and now compete with my crop. We all need to be good neighbours!
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition September 12, 2012