Turf & Rec

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Local politicians, activists making claims based on fraudulent information: investigator


March 24, 2009
By Mike Jiggens


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A consulting investigator leading the fight against Ontario’s cosmetic pesticide ban is advocating the launch of lawsuits against municipalities which plan to restrict the use of local pesticide use.

Jeffrey Lowes, director of government and industrial relations for M-REP Communications in Kingston, Ont., recently told the Integrated and Environmental Plant Management Association in Kelowna, B.C. that council members who claim chemical pest control products are detrimental to the environment and public health should be sued.

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He said such claims by local politicians and environmental activists are based on fraudelent information, adding 2,4-D is perhaps the safest product an applicator can use.

Although Ontario and Quebec have implemented province-wide bans on cosmetic pesticide use, bans or restrictions elsewhere across Canada are at the discretion of local municipalities. In Kelowna, a new bylaw has taken effect which bans pesticide use for cosmetic purposes, except those applied by trained and licensed applicators.

In a Feb. 8 letter to the editor of The Okanagan, Lowes wrote, “Products used by the industry and in the hands of a professional are safe.”

He added, “Regardless of whether the product is natural or not, science—and not public opinion—will dictate what is used. There is a danger of having public policy based on a belief system that is unsupported by fact.”

Lowes is representing the Professional Lawn Care Association of Ontario in its fight against the Ontario government.