Thought some of you guys would be interested in this article that was forwarded to me from Cornnell County Extension. >Subject: [Fwd: Toronto takes steps to ban pesticides within 2 years] > > >MARTIN MITTELSTAEDT > >Tuesday, July 17, 2001 - Print Edition, Page A1 The City of Toronto has >taken its first steps to ban pesticides used on lawns for cosmetic purposes. >Amid warnings that weeds and grubs will soon get the upper hand, the board >of health voted yesterday to endorse a bylaw that would end the cosmetic use >of pesticides on lawns and gardens, likely within two years. City health >authorities worry that pesticides may cause cancer, particularly among >children, and want spraying around homes stopped. "We're at the beginning of >a process where the city is going to look at . . . phasing out pesticides on >private property," said Joe Mihevc, a city councillor who chairs the board >of health. Toronto is the first big city trying to phase out pesticides >since the Supreme Court last month upheld a bylaw by the Quebec community of >Hudson restricting weed and bug killers. Under Toronto's approach, the >spraying of lawns by homeowners to kill such weeds as dandelions would not >be allowed, although there may be exceptions, such as for pesticide use to >kill allergy-causing plants. The deliberations in Toronto likely will be >repeated across the country, as communities react to the court ruling. >Environmental groups are pushing for bylaws restricting pesticides in 11 >other Ontario communities. Those include Ottawa, London and Kitchener, and >smaller communities such as Stratford and Milton. From the tone of debate in >Toronto, it's clear that the discussions will be acrimonious. Pesticide >supporters, worried that a phaseout will cost them their jobs, jeered >yesterday at a politician who argued for the ban. Some horticulturists >expressed worry yesterday that the city is trying to take away "tools" that >keep unwanted plants and insects at bay. "The public is not going to accept >weeds and grubs," said Tony DiGiovanni, spokesman for Landscape Ontario, a >horticultural trade association. Yesterday, Mr. Mihevc said the city wants >to proceed slowly. "We're not looking to ram anything down anyone's throat." >The city, he said, will try to have "a rational, reasonable" approach. Some >politicians have expressed concern that the city will appear unkempt, if >weeds proliferate. John Filion, another councillor, said many residents tell >him that the city, which has phased out most pesticides in parks, looks >dowdy. "The weeds are out of control, and I don't take the complaints of the >residents on that lightly." Mr. Filion accused fellow councillors of >intolerance with their desire to ban practices they find objectionable. They >"couldn't care less what the average person out there thinks." For residents >worried about the health consequences of herbicides and insecticides, ending >their use can't come fast enough. Douglas Counter, an Etobicoke organic >gardener whose rare plants have been featured in garden publications, >yesterday recounted to city politicians his horror when a lawn-care company >this spring hosed down his yard with pesticides by mistake. "I am outraged," >he told city politicians yesterday. He said it will take three years before >his lot is considered organic again, and he is angry that the spray company >claims its product is safe. "In fact, the manager said the chemicals are so >safe he could drink the formula right out of his truck." Mr. DiGiovanni of >the horticulture association is concerned that some of the 7,000 to 12,000 >people who work among the 1,200 companies licensed in Ontario to spray lawns >could lose jobs. Cheryl Chour of the Organic Landscape Alliance doesn't >agree. She said companies in her trade association can't keep up with demand >from homeowners who hate bug and weed sprays. "Most OLA members are >experiencing growth upwards of 30 per cent a year for the last several >years," she said. "Far from putting people out of work, a pesticide >restriction would encourage the growth of an economically and >environmentally sustainable industry." The city has been pondering a ban for >years but didn't act because of uncertainly over whether municipalities have >the legal right to impose restrictions. The Supreme Court ruling eliminated >that doubt. "Municipalities have been given the green light. Toronto and >cities across Canada must commit to restricting the use of pesticides for >cosmetic purposes," said Rich Whate of the Toronto Environmental Alliance.