Letter to the Editor on herbicide application

Follow a precautionary principle

As a scientist and a naturalist I prefer to follow a precautionary principle. Just because something has not been proven harmful does not mean that it isn’t and that it won’t soon be shown to be devastating to our health and local environment. For me, the first well-known example that comes to mind is DDT of course.

However, this article highlights several other more recent ones: https://www.nrdc.org/stories/24-d-most-dangerous-pesticide-youve-never-heard

Despite the fact that children are one of the groups most at risk with herbicide/pesticide use, no studies have been done looking at the effects of “2,4-D” in children. Below is a link to a World Health Organization statement which lists 2,4-D as “possibly carcinogenic to humans”… due to inadequate evidence in humans. Whereas DDT is only listed as “probably carcinogenic to humans”.

http://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/pr/2015/pdfs/pr236_E.pdf

Call me overprotective, but I don’t want to expose my children to anything today which is going to be proven carcinogenic—or even “probably carcinogenic” tomorrow. Not to mention potential impacts on local aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, since 2,4-D is a pesticide that persists in its environment. This chemical has already been found in ground water as well as surface water.

In the future, I hope the COF representatives will make similar requests and approvals for bylaw exemptions known to community members allowing citizens an opportunity to voice their concerns.

Ayla Bennett

Fernie, B.C.