Island wildlife needs our help

Letters to the Editor (The Guardian)
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Editor: Why is it OK to dump highly toxic chemicals on our land without proper studies being done? I don’t consider it a proper study when the chemical companies themselves have their own scientists give the, “okey-dokey” on the results. Multibillion-dollar companies can afford to buy science, so the results are in their favour.

Remember the tobacco industry? These highly toxic chemicals are marketed as being safe and everyone believes it, because convincing people is what marketing is all about. Years later we end up with revelations like those of DDT, Agent Orange, PCBs, rBGH, nocotine, (interesting that neonicotinoids are chemically related to nicotine), and many other chemicals that were never properly studied.

It doesn’t make sense to continue to use these products first and then have independent studies done. I suggest the studies be done first. I also suggest we enact policies locally to protect our Island. The Pesticide Control Act needs to be amended to ensure that independent studies conclude that what is being sprayed is safe for humans and wildlife.

We can’t afford to risk losing the bee population while we wait for industry, science, and politicians to duke it out over whether or not  neonicotinoids are destroying the bees. We need to have the act amended now to protect Islanders, our soil, water, and wildlife from the products produced by chemical companies who are concerned for nothing more than profits.

Recently a California study found that pesticides exposure during pregnancy increases the likelihood of autism in children. Particularly for mothers who live near farm fields. Another five-year study done by a European task force on systemic pesticides, (neonicotinoids), concluded that these chemicals are harming bees and other pollinators like hummingbirds and butterflies. (We kind of need them if we don’t want a steady diet of porridge.)

At minimum we should at least get started by banning cosmetic pesticides. Can we really afford to continue saturating the earth with these, known to be dangerous, chemicals?

Shirley Gallant,

York

Geographic location: California, York

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