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Hudson’s Supreme Court victory in defence of its pesticide ban is focus of critically-acclaimed film


March 9, 2010
By Mike Jiggens


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HUDSON, Que.’s Canadian Supreme Court victory in 2001 over
TruGreen/ChemLawn has become the focal point of a critically-acclaimed
yet controversial documentary film which questions many of the products
used to make lawns green and weed-free.

The film, A Chemical Reaction: Launch One in Your Town, is in the midst of a North American tour of the United States in Canada, having premiered in Vancouver on Jan. 20.
Hudson is notable for being the first municipality in North America to ban chemical pest control products. Since the landmark Supreme Court case, hundreds of other Canadian municipalities enacted bans of their own.

A Chemical Reaction is presented by the SafeLawns Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to seeking a reduction in the use of lawn and garden pesticides and synthetic chemical fertilizers, and natural products manufacturer Seventh Generation.

“We’re thrilled to be supporting the tour of A Chemical Reaction, as it is exactly this type of grass-root effort that will create the change needed to make our world safer and healthier for generations to come,” said David Kimbell, chief marketing officer of Seventh Generation. “At Seventh Generation, it has been our mission for over 20 years to eliminate toxins from the products that surround us every day.”

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The film earned rave reviews and won a number of awards at various film festivals in 2009. It has since drawn the support of several organizations eager to reduce chemicals from the environment.

As a result of the Hudson case, retail giant The Home Depot voluntarily removed synthetic chemical pesticide products from all its stores in Canada.

“Like our customers, we at Home Depot are concerned about the environment,” The Home Depot Canada president Annette Verschuren said on Earth Day 2008. “We are going above and beyond government regulations by working with our suppliers to develop pesticide alternatives that are environmentally friendly and produce excellent results on lawns and gardens.”

The film’s tour, which was hosted in Vancouver by its executive producer and narrator Paul Tukey and the Canadian Cancer Society, was to make 16 other stops on its tour schedule, including Canadian dates in Victoria, B.C., Ottawa and Saskatoon.

For the past several years, Tukey has travelled across the United States and Canada to tell the Hudson story and urge other municipalities to follow suit.

“Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on advertising to convince us that we need these toxic products to keep our landscapes looking good,” Tukey said. “This movie blows the lid off that notion. Twenty years after the ban, the properties in Hudson, Que. still look great. Its children are healthier, its water is cleaner. Every town in the U.S. should follow suit.”
To view the movie’s trailer, visit www.ChemicalReactionMovie.com.