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Daily News Archive
From April 24, 2006                                                                                                        

Quebec’s Pesticide Code Signed By Minister of Environment, Supported by Citizens
(Beyond Pesticides, April 24, 2006) The Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides (CAP) announced in an April 18, 2006 press release that it strongly supports the Minister of the Environment, Quebec, for the Pesticide Code of Quebec. Michel Gaudet, president of CAP, will offer his advice to activists that are working towards similar goals in the U.S. at the National Pesticide Forum, May 19-20 in Washington, DC.

CAP wishes to communicate the following messages to the Press, the Government and the public:

Dr. Warren Bell, Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment states, “CAPE is deeply grateful for the foresight and astonishing courage of the government of Quebec, as demonstrated by its passage of the Pesticide Code. There's new research on combinations of pesticides along with other poisons, new research on pesticides in their actual products (not isolated on their own), new research on children's cancers, new research on the body burden of pesticides and other chemicals. This research should have been done 40 years ago, but wasn't. Now, finally, detailed research is showing, with increasing clarity, how insidious and devastating the effects of pesticides really are. It makes the litany from industry -- that these products are thoroughly researched and regulated -- sound like the meaningless propaganda it always was. This new research makes it clearer than ever that these substances should, as the Ontario College of Family Physicians said, be avoided at all costs."

Elizabeth Guillette, Ph.D. Assoc. Research Scientist in Anthropology, University of Florida: “Research has repeatedly shown a strong correlation between pesticide use and decreased mental and physical abilities in children. For some, this loss of capabilities is minor but on a community scale, even a 5 point loss of IQ means a 57% increase in the mentally retarded plus a similar decrease of the mentally gifted. The result is a loss of those capable of creative leadership and invention, and a sharp rise in medical and educations expenditures for those requiring specialized care. Cities across North America should be following Quebec's ban on the unnecessary use of pesticides.”

Warren Porter, PhD, Professor of Zoology, Professor of Environmental Toxicology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, congratulates Quebec for the Pesticide Code and adds “Our studies on lawn pesticides and commonly occurring pesticide/fertilizer mixtures show induction of abortions and resorption of fetuses, immune, neurological, and hormonal changes in experimental animals at environmentally relevant levels. Work by other scientists show important health effects on children and adults due to pesticide exposure. There are hundreds of studies now in the peer reviewed scientific literature showing a broad array of biological effects on animals or humans due to environmental or controlled laboratory exposures to pesticides, especially herbicides.”

“What is registered (‘active’ ingredient) is only part of the formulation sold to the consumer. Registration procedures do not routinely include tests of mixtures of active ingredients and especially of the solvents and surfactants (other ingredients) in the mixtures that have their own biological activity. Fat soluble solvents are the universal master key to enter the skin and cell membranes and cross the blood brain barrier and the placenta of a fetus. Surfactants are the master key to penetrate the respiratory surfaces of the lungs.”

“Unregistered production contaminants may also be present in formulations sold over-the-counter. These contaminants may also be biologically active.”

“Registration procedures do not include tests for neurological, endocrine, or immune effects, especially in the parts per billion and parts per trillion which is where endocrine responses typically occur. The neurological, endocrine, and immune systems are intimately interconnected and communicate with each other, which can result in effects on all three when one is perturbed.”

“A recent peer reviewed study published in one of the most prestigious toxicology journals by a group of some of the most eminent reproductive physiologists in the world has demonstrated that the linear dose response assumed in the regulatory process may underestimate biological effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals by up to 10,000 times at very low doses.” *

“A commentary published later in the same journal documents the use by industry of an animal strain that is non responding, which provides for "no effect" results, when compared against independent research studies using different strains that show significant biological effects for the same chemicals.”

Édith Smeesters, Biologist, Spokesperson, CAP, "Quebec has shown its citizens that health protection is the most important priority. Alternatives to pesticides exist. Restrictions on pesticide use in Quebec have existed since the 80's and not only do green spaces exist in these areas, but their property values have increased too! Biodiversity is the slogan of the future. Even if there should be damage to plants, human health should always come first. There is no reason to lose plants because 20 pesticide active ingredients have been banned. Prevention is always the best strategy"

Michel Gaudet, President, CAP: “It is now time for those who have been injured by pesticide and other chemical exposures to be taken care of and socially rehabilitated with adequate protection in place. Their numbers are growing. Understandably this will be a major undertaking: however, the government must recall the lesson from the tobacco lawsuits and make the offender pay for these costs."

Join CAP president Michel Gaudet at the National Pesticide Forum, May 19-20 in Washington, DC. The Forum will follw Beyond Pesticides' 25th Anniversary Gala on May 18.