Canada to Ban All Weed ‘N Feed Nationwide
Stating “pesticides should only be used when and where there is a need,” Health Canada — the Canadian equivalent of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — announced Feb. 2 that it plans to ban the sale and application of all weed ‘n feed type products across Canada. The new regulations will come into effect at the end of 2012.
Though more than half of Canada has already banned such products at the provincial and municipal level, this is the most significant action the nation has ever taken at the federal level.
The Health Canada report did not focus on health risks associated with pesticides, but rather focused on landscape principles.
“Based on consultation with the provinces, experts and registrants, the PMRA has concluded that fertilizer-pesticide combination products for lawn and turf uses do not support the goals of best practices for pest management in turf,” said the report, which can be viewed in full here: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/cps-spc/pubs/pest/_decisions/rev2010-01/index-eng.php. “The PMRA, in conjunction with Canadian Food Inspection Agency, is taking action to uncouple the fertilizer-pesticide combination products intended for lawn and turf uses. A date of last sale of 31 December 2012 for fertilizer-pesticide combination products for lawn and turf uses has been set in order to allow for replacement products to be made available where needed.”
Surprisingly, the pesticide industry has not seemed to make much noise about this in the press, not yet anyway. It’s an especially bold move by the Canadian government, especially given the lawsuits that were announced last week. But by focusing on lawn care practices rather than health implications, Health Canada has seemingly skirted the most controversial issue.
I’m still waiting for the other shoe to drop here, but . . . WOW . . . what a great step in the right direction. The vast majority of lawn and garden pesticides are applied in combination with fertilizers; this action will significantly reduce the amount of contamination to the environment.