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What’s with all the questions about pesticides?


December 15, 2008
By CropLife Canada

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NEWS HIGHLIGHT

What’s with all the questions about pesticides?
Author and Ottawa Citizen columnist Dan Gardner was the special guest
speaker recently at a national agricultural conference co-hosted by
CropLife Canada and the Grain Growers of Canada.

Author and Ottawa Citizen columnist Dan Gardner was the special guest speaker recently at a national agricultural conference co-hosted by CropLife Canada and the Grain Growers of Canada.

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Gardner, author of Risk: The Science and Politics of Fear, talked about why – at a time when the world population is the healthiest and safest it has ever been – people worry about things they don’t need to worry about and don’t worry about the things they ought to. He also talked about how that applies to chemicals and the huge gap between what chemical experts know and what the average person worries about.

“Mr. Gardner’s book is very thought-provoking,” said Dr. Lorne Hepworth, president of CropLife Canada. “As an industry that has been under attack recently, we thought our audience would be interested in hearing more about how fear can drive people to behave in ways that really don’t make sense.”

CropLife Canada is highly critical of the provincial government and its draft regulations to ban the sale and use of some pesticides in Ontario. The industry is particularly concerned with the government’s failure to articulate scientific criteria.

“The agricultural community cannot stand by quietly as the government of Ontario ignores the fact that these products are rigorously reviewed to ensure they will not harm people, animals or the environment before they are permitted for sale. It’s a dangerous precedent that could have dire consequences for agriculture because it contributes to heighten and unmerited perceptions of risk.”