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On the very day ELection 2000 was called, CAPS sent a simple questionnaire to each of the major federal parties to elicit their respective positions on pesticide reform.

Recently, the Alliance Party responded to CAPS questions.

Their reply is often contradictory to their recent position against major pesticide reform. This stance was taken in response to the House of Commons Environment Committee's report "Pesticides: Making the Right Choice For The Protection of Health and the Environment". This confusing melange of alignment and misalignment with their own statements leaves one to wonder if they have any cohesive policy on protecting children from pesticide exposure.

STOCKWELL DAY offered a predominantly negative reaction to the House of Commons Environment Committee's report which concludes that health, especially children's health, must be paramount in assessing and re-assessing pesticide safety and registration. In the Alliance's response, they place primary emphasis on the needs and concerns of the "stakeholders" (pesticide manufacturers and industry-related companies). In fact, they make NO SPECIFIC MENTION of the protection of CHILDREN'S HEALTH in any of their 7 page response to the committee's report.

In answering the CAPS questionnaire, however, they suddenly become very pro "child-health" and suggest that:

"safeguarding the health... in particular our children, is vital to the well-being of our nation."

So, when it comes down to taking a decision between the industry that lines their pockets with campaign donations... and the children whose very lives depend on banning the products these corporations manufacture, who will Mr. Day choose to protect?

Fundamental to the Environment Committee's findings was the desperate need to overhaul the PCPA. Their reasons were numerous but clear, the PCPA does not incorporate appropriate safeguards to ensure that pesticides (through current toxicity testing standards) and pesticide exposure (in its various, isolated, multiple, cumulative, chronic or acute manifestations) DO NOT HARM HUMAN HEALTH.

In response to this assertion, the Alliance suggests that they would take steps to "ensure the toxic assessment process for pesticides is made more accountable and transparent." Yet, a mere paragraph later (in seeming contradiction to this statement), they suggest that the PCPA regulations for determining and ensuring a pesticide product's safety are already sound.

"Products cannot be registered unless the risks to human health are assessed... ".

They even go so far as to suggest that the PCPA's system of pesticide assessment is "world leading"! Obviously they are not only confused, but highly misinformed.

The Environment Committee's May 16 report references innumerable studies making both direct and suspected links between exposure to most common herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, rodenticides etc. and childhood/adult cancers; Parkinson's; neurological, developmental, behavioural disorders; mutagenicity, endocrine disruption and a host of other diseases and disorders. These highly lauded scientific studies were referenced and/or presented by respected physicians and scientists representing the Ontario College of Family Physicians, Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, Canada Health Advisory Council and other affilitaed and unaffiliated health professionals.

In its response to the May 16 Environment Committee report, the ALLIANCE PARTY makes it clear that the use of carcinogenic herbicides like Glyphosate (Roundup) & 2,4-D (Killex) on lawns, gardens and other public/private greenspaces for "esthetic value" is exceedingly important. Their report as much as ignores the aforementioned studies and they offer no discussion of the impact of these products on children's health.

Both their May 20,2000 response and their answers to the CAPS questionnaire suggest that they are either ignorant of the litany of organic agricultural management methodologies or too far in the pocket of the pesticide industry to care. This is apparent through Alliance's proclamation that the right to use carcinogenic, mutagenic insecticides and fungicides such as Diazinon, Chlopyrifos (Dursban), Carbaryl, Quintozene, Iprodione (Rovral) as agricultural aids is paramount.

In both their MAY 20 dissenting report and the reply to CAPS, they make it clear that they believe the PCPA is already working properly in ensuring both the safety of pesticides and the health of Canadians.

One wonders if they truly read this report or any of the scores of studies clearly demonstrating the grave health risks due to exposure including those reporting dramatic increases in cancers among childhood living in or near homes employing synthetic herbicides, insecticides and fungicides.

We encourage you to read all of the Alliance rhetoric for yourself!

Click here to read their response to our questionnaire.

Click here to read their response to the House of Commons Standing Committee's May 16 report.

Click here to read the full MAY 16 report "Pesticides: Making the Right Choice For The Protection of Health and the Environment"