Earth Action launching pesticide watch campaign

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Sharon Labchuk

The environmental group Earth Action is hoping to get the public to help report pesticide regulatory violations through a new campaign it calls Operation Pesticide Watch.

Earth Action’s coordinator Sharon Labchuk will hold a news conference Wednesday near the North River to launch the campaign that is also meant to organize coordinated lobby efforts.

The group also wants Environment Minister Janice Sherry to immediately release pesticide sales figures for 2009 to 2013 and implement a publicly accessible Pesticide Use Reporting system.

The province is required by law to compile annual pesticide sales data but is not compelled to make the information public.

For most years between 1993 and 2008, the reports were released to the public but after 2008 they stopped. Provincial legislation requires pesticide applicators to keep pesticide use records, including name of pesticide, application rate, crop, location of field, date and start time of application and wind speed.

“P.E.I. is the most intensively sprayed province in the country, yet government’s accountability to inform the public about what toxic chemicals are released in our communities is grossly inadequate,” said Earth Action co-ordinator Sharon Labchuk.

“The pesticide sales reports are at best a crude measure of overall sales and the accuracy of the data is highly suspect. The amount of individual pesticides sold is kept secret by government. P.E.I. needs a public Pesticide Use Reporting system that allows researchers to cross reference pesticide applications in communities with human health and environment effects, like groundwater contamination and bird and bee deaths.”

The science linking pesticide exposure to adverse human and wildlife health effects is well established, said Labchuk.

“Recording details about toxic pesticide use doesn’t prevent human health and environmental damage because once these poisons are released into the environment they’re uncontrollable. But until P.E.I. becomes an organic province the public has a right to know,” said Labchuk.

“Our tragic experience as one of the most intensely sprayed areas in Canada should be documented to help further the global movement to eliminate chemical pesticides.”

 

Geographic location: North River, Canada

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Recent comments

  • Elisian Fields
    August 13, 2014 - 06:44

    It's good to see the Earth Action group taking a leadership role on this serious issue. Janice Sherry and the Liberals are useless and the worst when it comes to the environment. There have been 60 or so fish kills since the 80's when the use of these killing chemicals was increased.

  • David
    August 12, 2014 - 23:01

    Labchuck needed something new to launch her campaign in the next election. Although I do have to wonder did she not appear naked in a potato field once? Have to wonder how dangerous the fields are when she sat naked in the potato plants.

    • intobed
      August 13, 2014 - 13:15

      This isn't about Labchuck, this is about toxic pesticides being used by farmers on PEI. Do try to keep up David.

    • Anne
      August 13, 2014 - 16:21

      David, you're lack of information is astounding. Labchuk isn't in the next election, and hasn't been for a few years. The sprays are far more dangerous than you seem to be grasping. At least TRY to educate yourself on the subject.

  • Awakened
    August 12, 2014 - 20:32

    I am thankful for groups like this. We can't keep saturating this island in deadly chemicals and expect it to support life.

  • jon thomlinson
    August 12, 2014 - 20:26

    Its a free country, just sayin'.

  • Citizen enforcement
    August 12, 2014 - 20:13

    This is an excellent idea. I just googled "PEI fish kill" and it's absolutely disgusting, the pages and pages of news articles about it. And always the same thing said: Something has to be done about it. Well, if the government isn't going to do anything other than have two enforcement officers available for 1 million acres, then maybe this will help. It's amazing how much PEI and pesticides have been in the news lately.

  • A. McKenzie
    August 12, 2014 - 20:01

    Bravo Earth Action. I hope there is public support for this, I hope we keep pushing these issues until they become election issues and I hope people get out and vote for change! Large scale agriculture on PEI is not sustainable, people want more organic. I hope farmers continue to grow potatoes, but the 'Potato Board' and all things monoculture on PEI need to collapse so that agriculture can move on to a new more organic, more diversified model.

  • Righttoknow
    August 12, 2014 - 19:54

    I think this is an excellent idea. This information should be available to the general public & being informed & educated on issues relating to pesticide use seems to be the intelligent way to go. Thank you Earth Action!

  • Kay
    August 12, 2014 - 15:23

    These idiots must like bugs and weeds everywhere. Nothing wrong with pesticides or herbicides when used properly.

    • Adam
      August 12, 2014 - 19:29

      Someone here is an idiot, if you believe what you are saying....

    • My Island Too
      August 12, 2014 - 19:30

      If anyone out there actually still believes that, than this campaign is more critical than I thought. I feel sorry for you, Kay.

    • Aware
      August 12, 2014 - 19:33

      Considering how few regulations actually exist, how many acres are farmed and the two people on the island who are supposed to be enforcing this, I think this is a great idea.

    • The Farmers...
      August 12, 2014 - 19:36

      Well, look at it like this. If the farmers are all doing exactly what they are supposed to be doing, then there will be nothing to report! They should in theory love this campaign. And, since it's aimed at public awareness, I would think it would cut down on a lot of the calls that John Jamieson says come in reporting things that are totally legal. Now people will understand what's a violation and what isn't. This is good for everyone.

    • Here This
      August 13, 2014 - 07:48

      Is that the best argument you can come up with to defend protecting yourself from being sprayed with poisons? Wow! The problem is with those who don't use them properly. Do we just ignore them?

  • Seriously.
    August 12, 2014 - 15:01

    Farmers being proud of breaking the rules? Seriously. Most farmers are hard working, compassionate, and very careful with how they control their crops and their costs. It wouldn't matter what a farmer did on this Island anyway. He is already portrayed as an evil ogre spraying thousands of dollars worth of pesticides into the air just to tick you all off.

    • How It Is
      August 12, 2014 - 21:09

      You're wrong. Most people understand that farmers are trapped. It will take a lot of support for them to get off the drugs their on and it won't be easy but they have to get started, now. We can't continue to saturate the island in poisons if we want it to be here for our children and grand children.

    • Seriously Concerned
      August 12, 2014 - 22:01

      Most farmers are hard working, compassionate, and all you say. What I meant was that Jamieson appears to be proud that there is a 75% compliance rate with environmental rules. Not good enough.

  • Seriously Concerned
    August 12, 2014 - 13:55

    With virtually no enforcement of environmental regulations, and the farmers being proud of 'only' breaking the regulations 25% of the time, we need to do something before it's too late.