Posted on March 18, 2016

Invasive plants or weeds cause serious economic and environmental problems in the Okanagan-Similkameen region of southern BC. They aggressively out-compete desirable vegetation, thereby reducing range and cropland productivity, recreational enjoyment, and habitat value. Established infestations are difficult to control and often persist for many years, costing landowners time and money.

Posted on August 28, 2014

Bee on clover flower.Scientists have linked both the collapse of bee populations and the stunning decline in bird and bat numbers to a new generation of insecticides called neonicotinoids. It gets worse: these widely-used nerve poisons are also considered the main cause of a general collapse of insect life since the mid 1990s. Bug-spattered windshields have become rare where they were once common in North America and Europe.

Posted on April 12, 2014

Residues of the antimicrobial agent triclosan can paradoxically boost bacterial growth in our bodies, by giving microbes a comfortable biofilm in which to rest.

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Posted on October 17, 2012

Children are not simply small versions of adults-they can be affected more easily, and more seriously, by pesticides and other contaminants.

In recent years there has been increasing concern about the health effects of exposure to pesticides, especially in children. This is partly due to the mounting toxicological evidence that children's exposures can be more hazardous than adult exposures, and because of the number of health effects in children that can be attributed to pesticide exposure.

Posted on October 15, 2012

The image of Prince Edward Island as a pastoral paradise is a thing of the past, as agricultural pesticides pollute the rivers of the Maritime province.

by Sharon Labchuk

The carefully constructed image of Prince Edward Island as a pastoral paradise was shattered this summer. Over the course of one month, nine rivers were poisoned by agricultural pesticides. Thousands of fish were found belly-up, and frogs, snakes, worms, slugs and insects were exterminated.

Posted on October 14, 2012

by Paula Linquist

A 1994 BC Ministry of Forests (MoF) Risk Assessment of Gypsy Moth in British Columbia states"... the direct impact of an established gypsy moth population on BC's natural resources would likely be small." Despite this, MoF officials have applied for a Pesticide Use Permit to aerial and ground spray the Burnaby Lake area up to 4 times for gypsy moths. The biocide of choice is a combination of 2.1% live bacteria, Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) and 97.9% unknown chemicals which are kept hidden by the Trades Secret Act.

Posted on October 13, 2012

Tests commissioned by the Canadian Reforestation and Environmental Workers' Society on polymer-coated loose fertilizer revealed the presence of toxic metals (such as molybdenum and cadmium) not listed on their Material Safety Data Sheets.

by J. Cates

There are two big problems associated with putting chemicals into soil: first, chemicals are no respecters of geographic boundaries, and second, chemicals that are good for trees may not be so good for the people who have to work with them.

Posted on October 10, 2012

People are far ahead of the government in demanding the banning of toxics.

by Ingmar Lee

I've been a professional BC silviculture worker since 1979, and since that time I've planted more than 1,000,000 trees. I'm 40 years old, and in spite of having no history of cancer on either side of my family, I've survived three cancer surgeries so far.

Posted on October 03, 2012

Recently, studies have linked pesticide exposure to leukemia and immune disorders in children as well as liver and kidney damage, reproductive problems and some types of cancer.

Compiled by Delores Broten

When her neighbours sprayed their lawn for dandelions, my sister had to move out of her own home for two days because the spray made her sick. No medical evidence can be cited to back up the experience of thousands of people like her, but now cities and towns in Canada are getting down to the grassroots and dealing with the problem. They are motivated by citizens' concerns about the health of children, pets and the environment.

Posted on September 05, 2012

Creative Commonsby Bruce Lanphear

At the turn of the 20th century, the greatest threat to the health of children was infectious diseases, like cholera, tuberculosis and typhoid.
The development of vaccines and antibiotics played an important role in reducing deaths from infections, but the single greatest factor in reducing death rates and improving life expectancy was altering the environment to make it inhospitable to infectious agents: providing

Posted on September 05, 2012

Photo by Paula Rodriguezby Miranda Holmes

For the past eight years, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has been analysing the pesticide testing done by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
EWG’s annual Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce ranks pesticide contamination for 45 popular fruits and vegetables, measuring the contamination in six

Posted on August 23, 2012

After a comprehensive review of research on the effects of pesticides on human health, the Ontario College of Family Physicians (OCFP) strongly recommends that people reduce their exposure to pesticides wherever possible. The review shows consistent links to serious illnesses such as cancer, reproductive problems and neurological diseases, among others. The study also shows that children are particularly vulnerable to pesticides. The review found consistent evidence of the health risks to patients with exposure to pesticides. 

Principle Findings 

• Positive associations between solid tumours and pesticide exposure, including brain cancer, prostate cancer, kidney cancer and pancreatic cancer,

Posted on August 16, 2012

by Matthew Kemshaw

After fifteen years of chemical free pest control, the E&N Railway on Vancouver Island is moving to reinstate herbicide spraying along its rail line. Community members up and down the line are concerned and with good cause; pesticides are made

Posted on June 23, 2012

by Anne Sherrod

New research has shown that pollution of the air by ag­ricultural pesticides is a significant factor in the decline of amphibians.

Two pesticides used in the San Joachin Valley of California are being carried by wind into the Sierra Nevada Mountains. There they were found in the snow, water and soil – and in the amphibians – of the Sierra Nevada national parks.  

Posted on May 30, 2012

by Anne Sherrod

The pesticides Bt and Roundup loom large amongst the many concerns regarding genetically modified (GM) foods. The bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) was once hailed as a completely natural, safe insecticide, because it produces toxic substances that target certain insects, but do not affect animals or humans. But are the toxins safe for humans to eat? That is the question that arose when agrochemical companies set about modifying and transferring genes from the bacterium into food plants, which then make their own version of the insecticide.

Posted on March 29, 2012

by Anne Sherrod

Canada has been suffering unusually high losses of bees each winter since 2006. That's the year when a new and unexplained set of symptoms called colony collapse disorder (CCD) began to be recognized, in which all the worker bees in a colony simply disappeared.

Very high commercial honeybee losses have continued since then, with 30.9% of hives lost in Canada in 2010/11. This doesn't include the serious decline of

Posted on April 28, 2010

by Delores Broten

After years of foot dragging, and led by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Canadian government finally admitted in 2002 that yes, there was, maybe, a problem with Chromated Copper Arsenate (CCA) treated wood.

The problem, admitted the government, was especially important for applications where children are exposed to the run off or even surface deposits, such as playgrounds, decks and picnic tables. In the US, the manufacturers had agreed to label the CCA

Posted on January 13, 2010

by Susan MacVittie

In August, 2009 the Government of British Columbia committed to consult British Columbians on "new statutory protections to further safeguard the environment from cosmetic chemical pesticides." Their intention is to seek input and then determine if, and how, legislation could be amended to address concerns about the cosmetic use of pesticides in British Columbia. A consultation paper discussing the issues is available for review and comments on the Ministry of Environment website (see below).

Posted on February 02, 2009

by Anne Sherrod

According to the Canadian Association of Profes­sional Apriculturalists, Canada lost 29 per cent of its honeybees last winter. The previous aver­age national loss was 15 per cent. There have been many claims in Canada that these losses are not from Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), the mysterious malady that wiped out tens of billions of bees in the US last winter. However, some Canadian beekeepers have reported losses on the order of 50-80 per cent, and some of them say they are seeing symptoms of CCD.

Whatever the cause, CCD is just one catastrophe among many that have been hitting commercial and wild bee populations since the late 1980s.

Posted on February 02, 2009

Information compiled by Leslie Gillett

Canada is set to raise its limits on pesticide residues on fruit and veg­etables for hundreds of products.

The move is part of an effort to harmonize Canadian pesticide rules with those of the United States, which allows higher residue levels for 40 per cent of the pesticides it regulates. Differences in residue limits, which apply both to domestic and imported food, pose a potential "trade irritant," said Richard Aucoin, chief

Posted on February 02, 2009

Since the 1980s the global consumption of cotton has risen dramatically; almost doubling in the last 30 years. With demand now in excess of 25 million tonnes annually, the world's consumers buy more cotton today than ever before, and that cotton is routinely dosed with hazardous chemicals. The authors of a new report advise consumers to "Pick Your Cotton Carefully" and choose organic, fairly traded cotton.

As more and more people choose cotton for its feel of natural fibre and its ability to "breathe" more than synthetics, serious concerns are growing about the ways it is cultivated and its impact on local people.

Posted on February 01, 2009

Health Canada allows 60 pesticides banned in other countries.

by Anne Sherrod

Four New Zealand groups - the Safe Food Campaign, Pesticide Action Network, Soil & Health, and the Breast Cancer Network - have put the pesticide Endosulfan at the top of their list of hazardous substances that ought to be banned. This organochlorine is sprayed on vegetables and fruits, leaving residues in soil, water, air, and food. It has been linked to breast cancer, hormonal disruption, and fetal, genetic, neurological, behavioural, and immune system damage at very low doses.

The New Zealand groups say it is also urgent to ban 2,4-D, an organochlorine weedkiller that is widely used