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Is John Bryden Anti-Health? June 16, 2000

MP, John Bryden recently came out in opposition of the call for a ban on cosmetic pesticides. Frankly, such an ill-informed/economically-based position makes me afraid for the life of my 2 ½ year old, indeed all of Canada's children who may be innocently exposed to cosmetic pesticides applied to lawns, parks, municipal areas and other greenscapes.

The report ("Pesticides..." by House of Commons Standing Committee on the Environment and Sustainable Development) clearly demonstrates the need for immediate and profound action on pesticide legislation based on voluminous studies (both Canadian and international), presentations and expert depositions. The bulk of scientific information on which this report is based, links exposure to the vast majority of pesticides with acute and chronic health conditions including childhood/adult cancers, neurological disorders, behavioural/developmental conditions and fetal anomalies. The study further notes that the highest risk group, by far, is children.

If Mr. Bryden believes that scientific studies still fail to offer clear links between pesticides and ill-health, he is frighteningly 'out of the loop' on the ever growing number of independent (i.e. non-Pesticide Industry funded) studies and reports that demonstrate these links. Those researchers who study the entire pesticide formulation, not just a selected ingredient, and who are NOT funded by the likes of Monsanto et al, typically show alarming relationships between pesticide exposure and the afore-mentioned health conditions.

His comment that, a ban on these toxic substances would force lawn-care companies "out of business", is simply unfounded and illogical. He, quite obviously, has NOT done his homework about the state of bio-friendly lawn/garden-care solutions. 'Organic' lawn management practices (which are often equally if not more effective than chemical applications) have been successfully employed for millennia. Thanks to a growing group of 'forward-thinking' green-thumbs, these practices are showing an incredible resurgence.
Lawn-care companies are no stranger to these practices and will not only survive, they will thrive on the re-introduction of these time-honoured and eco/health-friendly solutions.

Does Mr. Bryden think that weed/pest management simply didn't exist prior to the development of chemical pesticides (most were developed during/after WW2)? Please! I wonder if John Bryden's real concern is the negligible effect such a ban would have on large pesticide manufacturers, an industry that not only funds self-serving studies in many educational institutions such as U. of Guelph) but may well contribute to certain political campaigns!

Enough nonsense, Bryden. Our children's health is the priority... not political survival..
-Bernard Frazer, Canadians Against Pesticides