Health Professionals Respond to Weak Government Bill
Doctors, Nurses Launch Campaign for BC Pesticide Ban
For Immediate Release
March 4, 2013
Responding to proposed regulations that will not protect children from toxic lawn chemicals, the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE) today launched a campaign calling for a province-wide ban on lawn and garden pesticides.
The initiative represents the first time doctors and nurses have partnered on this issue.
The centerpiece of the campaign is an open letter endorsed by over 100 doctors and nurses calling on the BC government to ban lawn pesticides’ use and sale. The open letter will appear as a major advertisement in newspapers across the province starting March 5.
“We’re running these ads to tell politicians of all stripes that physicians and nurses want a real ban on lawn pesticides,” said CAPE Executive Director Gideon Forman. “What the government is currently proposing is not a ban. In fact, it will allow lawn companies to continue spraying toxic products.”
A government bill released Feb. 20 requires anyone employing pesticides on private residential property to have a license but does not end the products’ use.
“The government believes that if poisons are used by licensed personnel they are acceptable. Our doctors disagree,” said Forman. “Toxic pesticides are dangerous no matter who uses them.”
Scientific studies show that people exposed to pesticides are at greater risk for cancer and neurological disease. Children are especially vulnerable. Women exposed to pesticides are more likely to have a child with attention deficit disorder and reduced IQ.
The campaign is also endorsed by the David Suzuki Foundation and Environmental Defence.
For More Information
Gideon Forman, Executive Director, Canadian Assoc of Physicians for the Environment