NEWS ~ TIME TO BAN THE NON-ESSENTIAL USE OF PESTICIDES ~ Introduced Private Members’ Bill would create a moratorium in Canada

OTTAWA – Today, New Democrat MPs Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre) and Peter Julian (Burnaby-New Westminster) called on the federal government to ban the non-essential use of pesticides. Martin introduced a bill today to amend the Pest Control Products Act to place a moratorium on the cosmetic use of chemical pesticides in homes, gardens and on recreational facilities.

The moratorium would be in place until scientific evidence can prove pesticide use is safe. The bill will need approval by a parliamentary committee and when accepted, the moratorium would take effect on Earth Day, 2010.

“Why should we have to prove that a product is harmful before it is taken off the market?” asked Martin. “This bill puts the onus on the manufacturers to prove that their product is safe before we’ll allow them to sell it. Until they do, it’s off the shelves.”

Bill C-363 was tabled in the midst of Dow AgroScience suing the federal government under Chapter 11 of NAFTA for the loss of profits which would occur as a result of the pesticide ban in Quebec.

"The Harper government must do more to defeat Dows' challenge under NAFTA,” said Julian. “It must immediately commit to a vigorous application of the precautionary principle, which is at the heart of this bill. It's high time that the precautionary principle be included in every policy and legislation that affects the health and safety of Canadians.”

It is widely believed chemical pesticides are a leading environmental cause of cancers, neurological disorders and adverse effects on reproductive health. Approximately 35% of all pesticides are used in cosmetic, non-essential applications. Children and pregnant women are especially vulnerable.