Industry Opposes Proposed Moratorium on Home and Garden Pest Control Products

TORONTO, ON, May 16, 2000 - With Canadians valuing the benefits derived from home and garden pest control products, the Urban Pest Management Council of Canada (UPMC) is announcing today its opposition to the federal Standing Committee on Environment's recommendation for a moratorium on their use. A recent Angus Reid study commissioned learned that in 1999 two thirds of Canadian homeowners with lawns and gardens reported using pest control products to limit the damage caused by insects, weeds and plant diseases.

"Because of this finding, we expect homeowners will reject any government move to place a moratorium on the use and sale of products designated for use in urban settings," said Wendy Rose, Vice President and Executive Director of the UPMC.

Homeowners, professional horticulturists and landscape managers use only products approved by Health Canada. "The Committee failed to recognize that there is in place a stringent, modern regulatory system for pesticides" noted Rose. Pesticide regulations in Canada are already considered among the most stringent in the world. Over 200 tests are conducted to determine the safety to human health and the environment before a new product is approved and allowed on the market.

"A moratorium would affect everything from golf course maintenance to the neighbour's flower garden" noted Rose. "Now that spring is here, Canadians are once again enjoying the outdoors. Gardening is now the number one hobby of North Americans over the age 35, and 5.2 million Canadians golf," Rose added.

The Committee Report has done little to further the understanding of the need for pesticides in urban environments. Pesticides are an important tool for allergy sufferers in alleviating the discomforts associated with weeds, pollen and moulds. Most homeowners and communities take great pride in their properties, and pesticides are one tool to create healthy environments. "We know that properly used pesticides offer enormous benefits by protecting trees and shrubs from disease, helping with allergy control" Rose observed. "These benefits will be lost if homeowners and commercial property owners are unable to use effective, government approved tools to maintain their landscaping."

The Urban Pest Management Council of Canada represents the manufacturers, formulators, distributors and allied associations of pest management products for the urban environment. UPMC members' products are used in turf and lawn care, ornamental and nursery trades, forestry, industrial vegetation management, golf course and structural maintenance, and aquatic sectors.

For further information please contact:
Wendy Rose
Vice President and Executive director
21 Four Seasons Place, Suite 627
Etobicoke, Ontario M9B 6J8
Tel: 416-622-9771, ext. 229
Fax: 416-622-6764