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Advocacy group calls for broader N.L. pesticide ban

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The Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE) is calling for a broader ban on cosmetic pesticides in the province, and it says the overwhelming majority of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians support the idea.

According to CAPE, a recent Corporate Research Associates poll showed that 83 per cent of residents would support a policy where only a list of safe pesticides would be allowed.

Moreover, the same poll showed that 87 per cent of respondents would favour restrictions on the use of pesticides around schools, playgrounds and child care centres.

“These are some of the highest levels of concern that we have seen across the country,” Randall McQuaker, pesticides director for CAPE, stated in a news release. “Clearly there is strong public support for action by government to restrict cosmetic pesticides in Newfoundland and Labrador.”

The province has already partially banned the use of cosmetic pesticides. In 2011, the provincial government announced that five pesticides would be banned.

“We have listened to the concerns raised by many individuals and groups in the province, analyzed the research conducted by numerous sources, looked at other jurisdictions and, as a result, will implement a ban on cosmetic pesticides that are currently being used for lawn care,” then-environment minister Ross Wiseman said at the time.

However, the ban affected only five specific pesticide products. CAPE would like to see a system where everything is banned, except for a list of approved safe products.

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