Where’s scientific data backing pesticide ban?

Editor, The News:

Re: Maple Ridge backs B.C. pesticide ban (The News, Sept. 2).

I read that Maple Ridge is lending its support to the Canadian Cancer Society’s pesticide ban campaign.

Is that support alongside of the support to ban cigarettes, a known carcinogen?

I might be ecstatic about this support if I knew on which basis the support was being lent. Is it the science showing this to be true? Is it the drastic reduction of cancer cases in hospitals in locales where the pesticide ban has been in existence for enough years to document this as truth? What powerful evidence swayed the good council?

Was it ‘Dr.’ Gideon Foreman, head of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, an organization of doctors (with many who are not doctors), led by someone who gives himself a title that is not real and has not been earned.?

Maple Ridge passed its own bylaw, which, if you pay $60, you can be exempt from. Looks less like the district is concerned about a constituent’s welfare than its own receivables.

The ministry had a 60-day consultation period in which it received 8,000 replies, most favouring a ban. Might that be because most are OK with the status quo?

Look at the HST referendum. It wasn’t too difficult to have it reversed. Many people appeared to prefer the status quo of two taxes.

I also wonder how many citizens were aware of this consultation. I also wonder how many replies were from outside of B.C., or in some way attributed to B.C. citizens.

The word most is accurate perhaps, but was it 4,001 vs. 3,999?

It’s easy to play with numbers and words. CCS, politicians, snake-oil salesmen, and myself (so I’m told) do it frequently.

I would love to see some scientific data backing any claim that is being made. After all, some cities have banned pesticides for in excess of 20 years. Surely there must be some evidence of a link of some sort in the reduction in cancer rates?

Problematic might be which pesticides, of course, or which health initiative, but 20 years should be giving some numbers for someone to play with.

Is that screaming, I hear: ‘If it saves even one life, then it’s justified.’

Where’s the proof of what has caused the reduction, maybe it was the effort to ban cigarettes?

There is a regulatory body in place that approves and disapproves the use of pesticides (and medications and radioactive dosages). It works diligently on your behalf to ensure that your health is being safeguarded.

The science says the materials being used in an appropriate fashion are safe.

Somehow I prefer to defer to the knowledge of a moderately paid scientist who has nothing to gain (of course, there’s a conspiracy theory), as opposed to a handsomely (correct me if I’m wrong) remunerated group of non-scientists who garner their information from sources unwilling to reveal themselves or their data, it seems (of course, I could be wrong, again).

Henry van der Molen

Maple Ridge