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Pesticide Industry Unnerved by A Chemical Reaction

I’m not sure if it was my father, or grandfather, or some other wise figure in my life who first told me that threats are a childish form of flattery. That’s my take on some of the rhetoric coming from the chemical industry about our movie, A Chemical Reaction, which has been the focus of the wrath of one William H. Gathercole, among others.

Gathercole, who is apparently a degreed horticulturist from Canada, has been taking dead aim at anyone and everyone who suggests that lawn chemicals might be even remotely dangerous. In his daily blog called Force of Nature, at times he claims to speak for the entire pesticide industry and at other times he admits he’s only speaking for himself. Either way, his rants are usually good for a chuckle when the arrive in my Inbox each day.

Last week he called me “America’s Most Wanted Environmental Terrorist.” Today, with the March 11 premiere of the movie approaching at the University of Ottawa, Gathercole was calling A Chemical Reaction an “amateur video” and even offered up a new title: “A Terrorist Reaction.” Among his demands today were these:

1) A Terrorist Reaction must be prohibited from PUBLIC PRESENTATIONS in Canada.

2) A Terrorist Reaction must be prohibited from RETAIL SALE in Canada.

3) Paul Tukey, the promoter of the video, and his associates, must be reined and prohibited from ENTERING CANADA.

4) uOttawa–Ecojustice Environmental Law Clinic, UOttawa Ecojustice Clinic, and University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law must be CHARGED WITH FRAUD and CONSPIRACY under the Crimi-
nal Code of Canada.

5) Claire L’Heureux–Dubé must be reined and prohibited from making PUBLIC STATEMENTS.

The fact that a Supreme Court justice has agreed to appear in public in support of the Canadian pesticide bans is a particularly painful reality for the chemical industry, which would prefer to paint people like me as fringe activists. It should be a hell of a showdown in Ottawa when Justice Dube and Stewart Elgie, the attorney who argued the case for the town of Hudson, Quebec, in 2000, are in the room together March 13 with Mr. Gathercole and his brethren.

I’m looking forward to all the screenings in March . . . but maybe Ottawa most of all.

About The Author

Paul Tukey

An international leader of the green movement, Mr. Tukey is a journalist, author, filmmaker, TV host, activist and award-winning public speaker, who is widely recognized as North America's leading advocate for landscape sustainability and toxic pesticide reduction strategies.

Number of Entries : 1023
  • K. B.

    I’m on this guy’s(Gathercole) email list. His rants and accusations border on the hysterical and the format of his SPAMS…I mean newsletters, is so amatuer and headache inducing that hopefully he is his own worse enemy.

    It’s hard to take any of his babble seriously when he is calling The Canadian Cancer Society (and ANY opponent to lawn chemicals) “enviro-terrorists.

    If he’s the best the chemical industry has to defend them, bring it on.

    • JohnG

      This guy, Gathercole, has been defending the chemical industry in the newspapers for years. Day by day, inch by inch, he’s losing his marbles a bit more. Don’t pay him any mind. Even the chemical industry doesn’t want to associate with his sexist rants.

  • Alyssa Owens

    Sadly, there are people out there who will listen to the ranting and raving; the best we can do is educate and in a peaceful fashion. I really want to see big television ads for organic lawn care products (perhaps Home Depot will help with this?)The faces on the commercials should be of the many people who converted to the alternative, safer lawn care methods. And, they should say WHY they no longer use the lawn chemicals… Of course, they will need to be nameless faces but this might help. It would be best to broadcast these ads during baseball and football season!

  • Scott Reil

    Guys like that are our best advertising. Look at the example of what Chemlawn/Spratech did to make the pesticides conversation nationwide, and look at what has happened in Canada because of that… and can ANYONE take this seriously?

    Scream louder, rant longer, beat the drum, Bill…

    I don’t like the lyrics much, but I can dance to it… ;)


  • Carolyn Spector Gillis

    We can overcome these groups by all standing firmly and NOT being intimidated by their harassment.I did this already with the Pesticide groups…it can be done. We are all behind you if you stand up..they try to shame you into stopping but they are mostly a bunch of well funded old people with OCD.

  • Carolyn Spector Gillis

    This is the sound of industries dying.

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