Source: CropLife America

CropLife America and RISE (Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment) in letters to the Premier of Ontario, Canada, Dalton McGuinty, are encouraging the Premier to pursue another regulatory course of action than one currently proposed aimed at banning the sale and use of certain pesticides. Both organizations expressed concern the draft regulation in its current form may establish a new, detrimental non-scientific basis for all pesticide regulation. This would increase the financial burden, at a time of great economic stress, to farmers as well as homeowners and other pesticide users who could even see property values diminish because of the lack of effective and safe pest control products.

"Though the proposed regulation currently notes agriculture as among the excepted uses for certain classes of pesticides, if invasive pests cannot be managed on all lands, the threat greatly increases on farmlands and crops adjoining these areas where pesticides are banned. This effectively turns the latter into incubation factories for pests and disease, which can easily migrate to crops," said CropLife president and CEO Jay Vroom.

The class of pesticide product targeted by the ban, known as specialty pesticides, is used in and around homes, businesses and public areas. This includes lawns, flowers and trees and for vegetation management in water, along roadways, railroads and utility rights-of-ways. These products are essential to protecting public health and safety and to managing non-native plants and plant diseases.

"The potential damage of insect and weed infestations is much more than' cosmetic'," said Allan James, president of RISE. "Without the means to effectively control harmful pests, there exists a very real possibility for harm to children and pets from stinging insects and to motorists and highway workers from unmanaged brush and invasive plants."

Emphasizing the strides made by the U.S. and Canada, along with Mexico, under the NAFTA trade agreement, toward harmonizing and improving pesticide regulation on the basis of science, CLA and RISE strongly encourage withdrawal of the proposed regulation and consideration of an alternative, fact-based approach lest NAFTA progress be set back.