Croplife, pesticide and Chuchi

Croplife has a letter titled “Science Lesson” in the Richmond Review. It implies that Health Canada reviews of pesticides “ensure the product will not cause harm to people, animals or the environment.” Here’s my “Rate Your Instructor” review.


When a science lesson involves chemicals, it’s good to read the labels. Croplife forgot to do that before lecturing us clueless denizens of, it seems, a nether region of Outer Slobovia.

News flash for the lecturer: Health Canada’s science does NOT show that pesticides are safe. When one reads the label, Health Canada often warns they’re hazards.

Take the weedicide named Wilson® Lawn Weedout® Concentrate (please). Health Canada says it’s “Toxic to birds, small wild mammals, aquatic organisms and non-target broadleaf terrestrial plants.” At least it’s safe for what’s (a) already dead or (b) genetically modified to be sprayed with weedicide and sold as food. We’ll survive without it.

But let’s say you have a pet, Chuchi, the world’s smartest Chihuahua. Even if Chuchi can read the small print on the Weedout® label that says it’s toxic to “small wild mammals,” she feels safe as a small civilized mammal. Too bad the weedicide can’t tell the difference.

Bye-bye, Chuchi? Likewise, toddlers toddling into an area wet with Weedout® may be at risk.

Maybe we’re nitpicking, but some of us Slobovians think “safe” should mean “safe.”


Note: I discussed this topic earlier in “A city finds its soul,” where I rated lawyer Andrew Gage considerably better than the Croplife instructor for Mr. Gage’s West Coast Environmental Law blog articles about pesticides, including “A ban on cosmetic pesticides is scientific and smart,” which inspired some of my insights.


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