New legislation to weed out lawn and garden pesticides will protect environment and health
OTTAWA - Measures announced today in Ontario will raise the bar on provincial pesticide policy, says the David Suzuki Foundation. Details of the Ontario government's plan to ban lawn and garden pesticides were released this morning.
"It is encouraging that the Ontario government is moving swiftly to minimize this needless source of chemical exposures," says Lisa Gue, environmental health policy analyst with the David Suzuki Foundation.
Legislation to be introduced in the Ontario legislature this afternoon provides for a province-wide ban on the sale and use of hundreds of pesticides — toxic chemicals that pose health and environmental risks. The government intends to implement the ban in 2009.
"Legislation to prohibit the sale of these products, as well as their use, signals the government is serious about banning cosmetic pesticides," says Ms. Gue.
Today's announcement marks an important step in the legislative process. The government bill is expected to pass and regulations will then be developed. Some significant issues remain to be addressed in the regulatory package. The David Suzuki Foundation urges the government to follow through on commitments made today with strong regulations. Timely public education about the ban will also be necessary to promote a smooth transition to non-toxic gardening techniques.
Last month, the Foundation and Équiterre (a leading environmental group in Quebec), released an analysis of a similar policy already in place in Quebec. The report assessed the strengths and weaknesses of the Quebec regulation. Key recommendations for Ontario and other provinces considering bans on cosmetic pesticides included:
• structuring the ban with reference to a "white list" of products authorized for sale and use, and prohibited the use and sale of all other cosmetic pesticides;
• extending the ban to all cosmetic uses of pesticides, province-wide; and,
• developing a thorough and effective enforcement program.
"Ontario appears poised to set a new standard for regulating cosmetic pesticide use to protect human health and the environment. Other provinces should take note and follow suit," Ms. Gue concluded.
For more information:
Lisa Gue, Health and Environment Policy Analyst
David Suzuki Foundation