You spray, you pay

Brian Jones
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Sometime this spring or summer, some shiftless suburbanite will be dragged into court in shackles and put before a judge, charged with the despicable offence of spraying a banned pesticide upon his or her lawn or garden.

It could happen in any one of the seven provinces — Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, P.E.I., Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland (and Labrador) — that have declared the domestic use of pesticides illegal.

It could happen in any one of the multitudinous municipalities, including St. John’s, whose elected officials have ruled that to spray pesticides on a lawn or garden is to poison the Earth and endanger generations yet unborn.

Hopefully, for the sake of drama and entertainment value, the poor embattled suburbanite will have a lawyer who is eager to lambaste the ecocrats for their shoddy logic, incessant fear mongering and limitless willingness to boss other people around.

The lawyer could do well to submit Exhibit A: the report released earlier this month by a British Columbia legislative committee tasked with examining whether B.C. should follow the lead of other provinces and ban the cosmetic use of pesticides. The committee’s short answer: no.


Irrational restriction

Far be it from me to tell any lawyer how to defend his or her alleged perp, but a good start would be to quote from page 53 of the report by B.C.’s special committee on cosmetic pesticides: “The committee concluded that despite the intensity of arguments in favour of a ban on the cosmetic use of pesticides and a general misunderstanding of the risks associated with chemicals, there is insufficient scientific evidence to support a province-wide ban on pesticides for cosmetic use. The majority of the committee supports using science-based evidence and will not restrict access to products that are approved for safe use in Canada.”

“Your Honour,” the lawyer could well surmise, “politicians will never let the facts get in the way of a good ban.”

Another quote, from page 47 of the B.C. report: “From our perspective, the scientific evidence does not, at this time, warrant preventing British Columbians from buying and using approved domestic-class pesticides for lawn and garden care. In other words, we are not prepared to say to consumers, ‘You can no longer go into any store, under any circumstances, and buy 2,4-D.’”


Criminal chemical

The 2,4-D referred to, of course, is the herbicide dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, the superstar/chief villain of the domestic pesticides controversy.

The suburbanite’s lawyer will face a tougher task if his/her client has a jury trial. Those 12 people will likely have been exposed to the toxic effects of years of propaganda by ecocrats. (“Pesticides poison future generations,” etc.) The alleged perp’s lawyer will have to reach for some heavier artillery and aim for overkill, so to speak.

Exhibit B: the April 10 ruling by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that there is no scientific basis on which to ban the domestic use of 2,4-D.

The EPA determined 2,4-D is not a threat to human health, the environment or wildlife.

Its conclusion was a response to a request by the Natural Resources Defense Council to have 2,4-D banned in the U.S. The council is an environmental group based in New York City, and has 1.3 million members. That’s a lot of people not spraying dandelions.

The lawyer could also mention, in more than an offhand way, the World Health Organization has maintained for more than 15 years that 2,4-D is not a threat to human health, does not cause cancer and does not imperil future generations.

Even so, the law is the law. The alleged perp could still be found guilty.


Brian Jones is a desk editor at

The Telegram. He can be reached by email at



Organizations: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Natural Resources Defense Council, World Health Organization The Telegram

Geographic location: Quebec, Ontario, Alberta Nova Scotia New Brunswick Newfoundland British Columbia Canada U.S. New York City

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page



Recent comments

  • K. Jean Cottam, PhD
    May 28, 2012 - 16:37

    Joe, please note. I had an uncle whose name was Adolph and the pesticide-peddling gang know about this. So pesticide promoter Uncle Adolph assumed my uncle'a name to annoy me and lecture me. Isn't this hillarious! My Uncle Adolph was an Anglican Minister and his last church was in Regina, Sask. He died with his boots on, while still an active minister. However, I do pity the scientists in the PMRA, EPA and WHO who fail to do independent research and simply rubber stamp and rely on what the industry gives them. In contrast, my sources are independent and completely reliable.

      June 23, 2012 - 10:30

      There is NO one person just named Cottam. Cottam is part of a group of GHOST-WRITERS who are listed among CANADA’S PROMINENT ANTI-PESTICIDE ACTIVISTS. They have been PRINCIPAL ARCHITECTS in the CONSPIRACY TO PROHIBIT pest control products used in the Urban Landscape. Their ANTI-PESTICIDE ACTS OF SUBVERSION have EXTENSIVELY DAMAGED the Professional Lawn Care Industry. Are we to believe that an assessment from an ANONYMOUS group of Ghost-Writers is somehow worth more than Health Canada ?!?!

  • Joe
    May 28, 2012 - 13:11

    The funniest part of these ALL CAPS is they are wirttien by Croplife themselves. Showshow "ethical" they operate. The surevey they rely on was commisioned by them an excuted by " BlackSheep communication". How could the BC liberals not even see throught this propaganda?! What is the foremost goal of a chemical company? Public and environmental health or selling chemicals at all cost to maximise stakeholder investements? So whatis the big deal if revert back to a world with less pesticides, like our grand parents enjoyed? In my opinion, the real losers will only be Croplife stakeholders (who apprently look up to some guy named "Uncle Adolph" for truth !?!) lol NORAH should wake up embrasse the change instead of preaching chemical domination. Dinosaurs go extinct if they don't adapt.

  • K. Jean Cottam, PhD
    May 26, 2012 - 07:28

    (Note that this comment was resubmitted due to belatedly identified typographical error.) Pesticides are endangering the well-being of current and future generations and are not a laughing matter. In B.C. the committee and its chair appear to have acted under the influence of spokesmen for Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA). I am not impressed by the put down meted out to so-called "ecocrats" and ridiculing their logic. The PMRA receives funding from the pesticide industry. Without labs of its own, the PMRA is dependent on industry supplied rat data for product evaluations. However, rats have detoxification genes missing in humans. Data on existence of 2,4-D dioxin, for example, are withheld from the PMRA. This dioxin was identified by a whistle-blower employed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Invented for use on the battlefield, 2,4-D was the other ingredient of Agent Orange. Cumulative and combined exposures to 2,4-D are not taken into account by the PMRA. This Agency is weak in examining human studies. The additives called "inerts" may be toxic and possibly carcinogenic according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Dr. Meg Sears, a prominent Ottawa's biochemist, was among those who questioned 2,4-D's assessment. She maintained that both estrogenic and androgenic activities related to breast and prostate cancer respectively "were... neither referenced nor considered by the PMRA." (See Notice of Objection to a Registration Decision of 2,4-D, 2008.)

    • Dale
      May 26, 2012 - 08:27

      How predictable! K. Jean Cottam, aka Jean Sergeant, aka Richard Clarkson, the one-woman anti-pesticide attack dog from Ottawa with a PhD in who-knows-what, who has probably done more than anyone else in Canada to spread misinformation about pesticides. She won't let one media article or comment about pesticides be published anywhere in the country without berating in the comments section those who hold a view contrary to her own. It must be nice to know more than the thousands of scientists at Health Canada, EPA, WHO and the comparable regulatory bodies in the EU who have deemed 2,4-D safe. I do agree with her on one point though - WILLIAM H. GATHERCOLE AND NORAH G - your post below is unintelligible.

  • Dale
    May 25, 2012 - 13:44

    Brian, you are a welcome voice of reason, but you're spitting in the wind. The opportunistic or gullible politicians and the so-called environmental organizations who have influenced them for political and profit motive won't be deterred. Environmentalism is the new religion. And this brand is the only true religion. Anyone who doesn't buy in is out to rape and pillage the earth, not to mention children and pets.

  • Rule of Thumb
    May 25, 2012 - 10:34

    If the comment is longer that the article, then skip it. Especially when it's all cut and pasted from god knows what. Seriously, is anyone suppose to read that mish mash of upper case letters, brackets, hyphens, etc. Just scanning it was nauseating.

    • Eli
      May 25, 2012 - 13:56

      So what's wrong with a few months of colorful flowers and lawn greenery? God knows the landscape is drap enough for most of the year. Lighten up.

    • K. Jean Cottam
      May 25, 2012 - 14:04

      I am wondering why editors allow comments of the kind submitted by Wm. Gathercole et al that are offensive as well as overcapitalized and thus difficult to read. The comment below is virtually illegible. I am one of the Canadian recipients, against my will, of Gathercole's "newsletter" sent almost every day. Not only these publications contain dubious information and nasty name calling, they usually provide pornographic images of young girls with partially exposed breasts. I am wondering what do these images have to do with the issue of pesticides for cosmetic purposes?

    May 25, 2012 - 09:52

    The End of the Current Anti-Pesticide Siege of Terrorism Against the Professional Lawn Care Industry THE PUBLIC DOES NOT WANT PROHIBITION British Columbians DO NOT want their society to continue living in the 9|11 Era of Anti-Pesticide Enviro-Lunatic Profit-Hungry Terrorism ! On May 17th, 2012, British Columbia’s Special Committee on Cosmetic Pesticides announced that it WILL NOT RECOMMEND PROHIBITION against the use of pest control products in the Urban Landscape. This VICTORY signals a possible END OF THE CURRENT SIEGE OF ANTI-PESTICIDE TERRORISM Against the Professional Lawn Care Industry in British Columbia. The public DOES NOT WANT Anti-Pesticide PROHIBITION. A recent POLL conducted by Canadian Consumer Specialty Products Association ( CCSPA ) CONFIRMED that the VAST MAJORITY of residents in British Columbia are OPPOSED to the PROHIBITION of conventional pest control products, and they actually FAVOUR the continued use of these products around their homes and in public green spaces. CANADIAN CONSUMER SPECIALTY PRODUCTS ASSOCIATION ( Web-Page ) PESTICIDES CAUSE NO HARM Pest control products CAUSE NO HARM and are SCIENTIFICALLY SAFE. Not surprisingly, the BC Special Committee on Cosmetic Pesticides AGREED ― and deserves CONGRATULATION. SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON COSMETIC PESTICIDES ( Web-Page ) It is COMMON KNOWLEDGE that there are NO pest control products that are known or probable carcinogens. Pest control products are SCIENTIFICALLY SAFE, and NO HARM WILL OCCUR when they are used according to label directions. Anti-Pesticide PROHIBITION is NOT NECESSARY. THE MYTHS ABOUT ANTI-PESTICIDE PROHIBITION ( Web-Page ) ANTI-PESTICIDE ORGANIZATIONS ARE WRONG Organizations that led the SIEGE OF TERRORISM included Canadian Cancer Society ― all are listed among CANADA'S PROMINENT ANTI-PESTICIDE & ENVIRONMENTAL-TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS ( Web-Page ). These organizations are FUND-RAISING. PROFIT-SEEKING, and LOBBYING organizations, and NOT a science, research, health, or physicians' organizations. They FALSELY ALLEGE having UNDISCLOSED, NON-EXISTENT AND UNVERIFIABLE SECRET EVIDENCE about the safety of pest control products. And yet, they have NEVER provided ANY credible information to Health Canada that justify their Anti-Pesticide CONSPIRACIES. This is because NO ONE at Canadian Cancer Society or any other Anti-Pesticide Organization has ANY recognized expertise, training, or background in matters concerning pest control products. These organizations MUST NOT get MORE MONEY for LYING and TERRORIZING !   There is NO RECOURSE but OFFICIAL COMPLAINTS AND LITIGATION against Environmental and Anti-Pesticide Organizations.   They DO NOT DESERVE ANY DONATIONS OR SUPPORT. Nor do they deserve TAX-EXEMPT statuses.   They DO deserve to FACE THE TERROR OF THE COURTS !   In Canada, Anti-Pesticide Organizations like Canadian Cancer Society are presently UNDER INVESTIGATION FOR CHARITY FRAUD AND CONSPIRACY.   The Government of Canada DOES NOT want its society to continue living in the 9|11 Era of Anti-Pesticide Enviro-Lunatic Profit-Hungry Terrorism !   CANADA ENDS THE 9|11 ERA OF ENVIRO-LUNATIC TERRORISM ( Report ) COMPLAINT CHANNELS - BUSINESS, FUND-RAISING, GOVERNMENT, & TAXATION AGENCIES ( Web-Page ) CATASTROPHIC CARNAGE CAUSED BY PROHIBITION In jurisdictions outside of British Columbia, Anti-Pesticide Organizations have already INFLICTED HORRENDOUS and CATASTROPHIC CARNAGE for businesses operating in the Professional Lawn Care Industry, in the form of IMMENSE LOSSES OF REVENUES, BUSINESS FAILURES, BANKRUPTCY, and UNEMPLOYMENT, and even HORRIFIC FINES. Because of Anti-Pesticide Organizations, the owners, employees, and families dependent on Professional Lawn Care businesses have faced TERROR, DESPAIR, and DESTITUTION. CARNAGE CAUSED BY CATASTROPHIC ANTI-PESTICIDE PROHIBITION ( Web-Page ) GOLF INDUSTRY EXCEPTION STATUS IS LOST The GOLF INDUSTRY may end up being the BIGGEST LOSER, since it will be expected to develop a province-wide certification process ― it has effectively LOST ITS COMPLETE EXCEPTION STATUS. Since 2008, in a DESPICABLE effort to DISTRACT activists, government officials, and the public, several Golf Industry Trade Associations like Western Canada Turfgrass Association ( WCTA ) SUPPORTED the PROHIBITION and attempted to TORPEDO the Professional Lawn Care Industry. FAILURE OF WESTERN CANADA TURFGRASS ASSOCIATION ( Web-Page ) For more information, go to the following links ... VICTORY -- The End of the Siege of Anti-Pesticide Terrorism ( Reports ) PROVINCE OF BRITISH COLUMBIA - CONSPIRACY TO PROHIBIT PEST CONTROL PRODUCTS IN THE URBAN LANDSCAPE ( Web-Page ) WILLIAM H. GATHERCOLE AND NORAH G NORAHG is the National Organization Responding Against HUJE that seek to harm the Green space industry. NORAHG is a NATIONAL NON PROFIT NON PARTISAN organization that does not accept money from corporations or governments or trade associations, and represents NO VESTED INTERESTS WHATSOEVER. NORAHG is dedicated to reporting the work of RESPECTED and HIGHLY RATED EXPERTS who promote ENVIRONMENTAL REALISM and PESTICIDE TRUTHS. THE PESTICIDE TRUTHS WEB-SITE THE COMPLETE LIBRARY OF REPORTS & REFERENCES