This spring, I met with Lillian Schaer of FoodandFarmingCanada.com , to discuss some of the issues related to the urban pesticides ban in Ontario. I was first exposed to this issue during an interview that I did with Jay Bradshaw, President of Syngenta Canada. The following is an update on the situation.
The following was Submitted by AGCare, Agricultural Groups Concerned about Resources and the Environment, www.agcare.org.
Ontario€™s new cosmetic pesticide ban came into effect on April 22 of this year.
Under the new law, pesticides cannot be used for cosmetic reasons on lawns, vegetable and ornamental gardens, patios, driveways, cemeteries, and in parks and school yards.
The provincial government has allowed no exceptions for pest infestations (insects, fungi or weeds) in these areas, stating that lower risk pesticides, biopesticides and alternatives to pesticides exist that can be used.
The ban does provide exceptions for various uses, including agriculture. The use of pesticides is necessary for agriculture from an economic and operational perspective, according to the government. Ontario farmers already have stringent rules on the use, handling, storage and application of pesticides, through the Grower Pesticide Safety Course, which requires all growers to take a course every five years before being able to buy crop protection products. Interestingly enough, however, these trained farmers may not apply those same products to their own vegetable gardens and lawns.
Farmers are concerned that the Ontario government will move to limit crop protection products in agriculture as well, a move that will dramatically impact their ability to produce food.
More than 250 pesticide products are banned for sale and over 95 pesticide ingredients are banned for cosmetic uses under the new law. The provincial ban overrides any municipal pesticide bylaws already in place.
For more information on pesticide use in agriculture and Ontario€™s Pesticide Education Program for farmers, please contact AGCare at 519-837-1326 or [email protected] .