Banning pesticide use on lawns


Photo courtesy of USDA NRCS.

Our neighbors to the north are talking about a ban on “cosmetic” use of pesticides.

Several Canadian provinces ban pesticide use on lawns, and the Winnipeg Free Press reports Manitoba officials are preparing a ban on urban pesticide use that would likely be implemented next year.

The ban would not affect agricultural use of pesticides.

A Minnesota Department of Agriculture study in 2010 found

“Non-agricultural pesticide sales accounted for approximately 60% of the total pounds of all (agricultural and non-agricultural) pesticide sold in Minnesota.”

  • Canada’s provincial pesticide bans are limited to urban environment and clearly exempt agriculture. Note that federal Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), under fire for representing the interests of the chemical and pharmaceutical complex, which is contrary to the PMRA’s original mandate to regulate for the protection of health and the environment, is virtually ignored. In other words, provincial governments are stepping into the federal regulatory void. The bans do not apply to forestry, some insect infestations and harmful noxious weeds. Opposition to the bans comes mainly from those with a vested interest, i.e. pesticide manufacturers and applicators. Those in favour of pesticide bans are told their goals are strictly political and their promotion of pesticide-free urban lawns and common elements is based on so-called “junk science”. The self-interested opponents of pesticide bans are claiming that it is they who are the experts–it is they who are on side of the angels. Their claim that pesticides do not cause cancer is highly controversial.