There’s a reason why private industries who create useful products aren’t able to tell the public as to how safe their products really are if used appropriately. This reason is called “legal counsel”. There is a reason legal counsel exists. This reason is called “activists”.
Case in point: an environmental activist writes in to display his irresponsible ignorance over a product that is essentially safe, though not absolutely safe, just like everything else in life.
Greg Rooke of the Saskatchewan Environmental Society criticizes Bronwyn Eyre for stating that the Pest Management Regulatory Agency considers the 2, 4-D pesticide “safe”. He says, “The PMRA has never stated 2,4-D is safe, only that it poses an ‘acceptable risk'” (Letters, June 12.) This is correct, but only because the PMRA risk-based classification system assesses potential risk to human health using terms such as “acceptable” or “unacceptable”; to them, there is no such thing as “safe”.
There is inherent risk to human health in virtually all activities that we do. For example, there is far more risk to people from Mr. Rooke driving his car to one of the city’s weed-infested parks than from any pesticides that might have been used there. Using risk-based standards, his driving cannot be “safe” but rather poses an “acceptable risk”, providing he operates his vehicle in a responsible manner.
No federal health regulatory agency in the world considers 2, 4-D to pose an unacceptable risk to human health. Furthermore, Health Canada has found that 2,4-D does not increase the risk of cancer and can be used safely by homeowners who follow label directions.
The SES and other advocacy groups are welcome to continue their alarmist campaign against pesticide usage. However, until our official regulatory agency changes its current position, which is based on evaluations using robust criteria and modern risk assessment approaches, the city of Saskatoon should allow for the responsible use of 2, 4-D in parks and on private property.
These people can’t stand the wonderful world mankind has made for all of us.