On the list of things humans need to lead a happy life, surely a well manicured, green lawn must be near the very bottom of the list.
Yet, here we are, more than 50 years after Rachel Carson stunned the world with the publication of her book, Silent Spring, and the use of cosmetic pesticides continues.
Earlier this week, the B.C. Liberal government trumpeted changes to the rules regulating the use of cosmetic pesticides.
The bottom line is the changes still permit the use of cosmetic pesticides.
Why allow the use of cosmetic pesticides?
For a province brimming with green, weed-free, pest-free lawns?
Why ban the use of cosmetic pesticides?
Because the evidence is mounting that the use of pesticides, including herbicides can increase the risk of cancer, from leukemia and lymphomas to brain cancer, lung cancer, kidney cancer and a few more.
A study by Bassil et al., published in 2007 in the Canadian Family Physician, reviewed the scientific literature on the potential effects of pesticides on human health.
Based on the review, the authors recommended a reduction in the use of pesticides, and based on the results of the study, the Ontario College of Family Physicians recommended everyone, especially children and pregnant women reduce exposure to pesticides.
The Union of B.C. Municipalities, led by then mayor of Kamloops, Terry Lake, passed a resolution supporting a ban on the sale and use of cosmetic pesticides.
Today, Lake is minister of health.
What happened to the vision?
What happened to the conviction?
Silent spring, silent minister.