Manitoba Environmental and Health Groups support Provincial move to ban cosmetic pesticides

June 27, 2011, Winnipeg –  The citizens group, Campaign for Pesticide Reduction! Winnipeg, is joined by Chemical Sensitivities Manitoba and two of Manitoba’s largest environmental organizations, Green Action Centre and Nature Manitoba, in calling on the provincial government to act on the suggestion of the Manitoba Round Table for Sustainable Development that a provincial ban on cosmetic pesticides be enacted.

The Round Table, an advisory body to Conservation Minister Bill Blaikie, compiled a background report on the subject earlier this year. Since then, the David Suzuki Foundation published an update on provincial cosmetic pesticide bans, in which Manitoba was notable in being one of the few provincial jurisdictions without such a ban.

“It’s time for Manitoba to join with the rest of the country and protect our citizens from these unnecessary chemical exposures” said Ian Greaves, Chairperson of CPR! Winnipeg. “Our kids deserve the same privileges as other Canadians”.

Cosmetic pesticides are defined as “pesticides used in lawn and garden care for aesthetic, non-essential purposes on private and public property”.

Josh Brandon, spokesperson for Green Action Centre, notes “Healthy lawns and gardens do not require the use chemicals that put the health of Manitoba families or the environment at risk. With pro-active maintenance and by choosing plants appropriate to our climate we do not need to rely on potentially toxic pesticides to keep our yards green.”

The groups have learned that the pesticide industry association, CropLife Canada, is actively urging its members to lobby the provincial government in opposition to a ban, on the misleading premise that a cosmetic ban will affect agriculture. In fact, that is not the case. Cosmetic bans do not apply to pesticide use in agriculture, forestry or for public health reasons.

“It’s time for citizens concerned about exposures to let elected officials know that they support a ban” said Sandra Madray, of Chemical Sensitivities Manitoba

– 30 –

Further information:

Anne Lindsey, Campaign for Pesticide Reduction! Winnipeg – 947-6511
Josh Brandon, Green Action Centre – 898-6460
Roger Turenne, Nature Manitoba – 237-5947
Sandra Madray, Chemical Sensitivities Manitoba – 256-9390

Background information attached

Manitoba Roundable for Sustainable Development report

Background support for pesticide ban