Sherry & Terry's Blog

Going for Pesticide-Free

Organic gardeners use organic materials such as grass, leaves, seaweed, straw, compost and lime to enrich their garden's soil. With the development of chemical fertilizers, their use over the last sixty years has been regarded as acceptable and necessary for large yields of food crops and for the controlling of insects and pests.

The Canadian Cancer Society has been calling on the Canadian provinces to ban the cosmetic use of pesticides citing the growing medical evidence showing links between pesticide use and the occurrence of cancers such as leukemia, pancreatic cancer, non-Hodgkins lymphoma, kidney cancer and some brain cancers.

Quebec was the only province to do so until April 22, 2009 (Earth Day), when Ontario became the second province and went even further by also banning the sale of these pesticides. 19 municipalities and cities in British Columbia have implemented their own by-laws banning the cosmetic use of pesticides however the Cancer Society is calling on the BC government to create a province-wide ban so that all of its citizens will be protected by the same law. In my own city, the councillors have yet to put a by-law into action but it has been recommended by city staff.

David Maidman is a New Westminster, BC videographer and a member of the New Westminster Environmental Partners and the New Westminster Pesticide Awareness Coalition. He and his fellow Pesticide Awareness Coalition members were successful in getting the New West City Council to pass a by-law banning the cosmetic use of pesticides and herbicides.

David came to Richmond on April 23, 2009 to film the people protesting against CropLife Canada which is an association representing the chemical industry. This lobbyist group was meeting in a Richmond hotel with provincial officials to dissuade them from implementing a province-wide ban on the cosmetic use of pesticides and herbicides.

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