Canadian health and environmental organizations are calling on the British Columbia (B.C.) government to abandon its plans to allow lawn care companies to apply pesticides for cosmetic purposes.
The BC government is currently consulting the public, until December 8, 2013, about new rules that would allow cosmetic use by licensed lawn care companies. British Columbians soundly rejected such an approach in past consultations held by the government, and Premier Christy Clark has previously promised a ban on such unnecessary pesticide use.
The Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, West Coast Environmental Law Association, and Wildsight, reignited calls for a ban on cosmetic pesticide use.
A call for such a ban has previously been endorsed by 22 health and environmental organizations.
“British Columbians want a ban on the cosmetic use of pesticides,” said Andrew Gage, Staff Lawyer at the West Coast Environmental Law Association, who released a media statement November 28, 2013. “Granting a monopoly on using these pesticides to lawn care companies is not good enough for kids, pets, bees or, indeed, anyone who ends up exposed to pesticides,” he added.
Past government consultations resulted in the largest number of individual comments ever received by the B.C. government on an issue, and strongly supported a ban on cosmetic pesticide use; most recently about 68 per cent of those filling out the survey hosted by a committee of MLAs investigating the issue favoured a ban. Bans have been adopted in Ontario, Quebec and all four Maritime provinces, as well as in 40 municipalities around B.C.