Saturday, April 22, 2017

And the ban played on

I realize I'm putting my two cents into a subject that I have no place commenting on. After all, concerning the prohibition on lawn chemicals, that ship sailed almost 10 years ago. However, I find it odd and perhaps a little sad that this debate is still raging on in the House of Commons concerning the use of neonicotinoids like imidacloprid and it's effect on bees.

Back in the days when everyone and their mother used this chemical to control grubs and other insects you never heard word-one about environmental effects on bees or other beneficials, but over the past few years it has been the hot topic. Once again we find junk science at the forefront, leading the Trump-like charge of, "off with their head!" sending the farmers into a defensive position.

OK, let's get a few things straight. The cosmetic pesticide ban was just as it sounds "cosmetic". It's like putting a band-aid on a very deep wound. When the prohibition of pesticides came into effect it removed...and let's be generous here...15% of all pesticides used out of circulation, (home owners/ lawn care companies). That means, for those of you who are mathematically challenged, 85% are still being used legally by the deep-pocket golf industry, the farmers, sod growers and forestry.

Yet, fingers must be pointed and angry voices heard until all chemicals are abolished. The golf industry has come under increasing scrutiny over the past few years and I'm OK with that. Why shouldn't they play by the same rules as us. The pesticide use on golf courses is strictly cosmetic, right? It's not like the lawn care industry, or the homeowners got a mulligan.

Yet, when you consider these actions against the farmers, you need to look at the long-game consequences. With no effective alternatives available, you are asking our food growers to produce increased yields to feed the hungry without the ability to fend off crop damaging insects. Does anyone else see the warning signs here?

I'm just glad I'm no longer involved in the debate....well except for this post.

Happy Earth Day!