Province must act on pesticides

Letters to the Editor (The Guardian)
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Pesticides

Editor: (I sent the following letter to Charlottetown MLA Kathleen Casey):

Dear Mrs. Casey, I am writing to you on a matter about which I feel very strongly. I wish to express my deep disappointment that the current Liberal government has not made any significant progress in limiting the use of agricultural and cosmetic pesticides on Prince Edward Island. Numerous individuals and community groups have drawn attention to the issue in the past 20 years.

The harm that these chemicals do has been well documented. A few minutes research on the Internet will revel studies published in such reputable locations such as medical journals and cancer societies around the globe who have made statements to provide evidence of the harm to both humans and the rest of the environment.

However P.E.I. seems paralyzed in our capacity to take action to keep our population and environment from continued harm.

The most popular argument is that any restriction will harm our agricultural industry. How is it that most of Europe, states with multi-million-dollar agricultural industries like California and huge provinces like Quebec and Ontario have managed to ban many, many of the most dubious pesticides and continue with successful agricultural industries?

Could it be that we are so focused on the short-term gain of large cash crop that we are willing to gamble our very lives for short-term economic stability? Could we not work to find a middle ground where government would support an industry in transitioning to healthier production?

What will your legacy be? Will you continue the status quo of promises with very little action? Or will you be willing to take concrete action to protect our Island and future generations by supporting real action to make a change to P.E.I.

Rather than P.E.I. being a dumping ground for dangerous chemicals banned by more forward thinking places we could be leaders in safer agriculture and moving toward a healthier environment for all of us.

Susana Rutherford,

Charlottetown

Geographic location: California, Prince Edward Island, Europe Quebec Ontario Charlottetown

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