Wednesday, July 25, 2007

St. John's Mayor calls out David Suzuki

In St. John's Newfoundland, when you call the number listed in the phone book for the Mayors' Office, Mayor Andy Wells answers the phone. It's not his assistant or an automated operator, it's the Mayor himself. Never a stranger to controversy he has now made a statement, which I consider to be one his least controversial, which is apparently causing some controversy:

Andy Wells, the outspoken Mayor of St. John's, pictured, has outraged Canadian environmentalists and physicians with his comments that David Suzuki and Al Gore are "junk scientists," and that herbicides in small amounts are safe. From St. John's to Ottawa, Calgary and Burnaby, B.C., communities across the country continue to debate cosmetic pesticide and herbicide use and whether it should be allowed. But while passions often come to the fore in the arguments over whether the chemical treatments for lawn care are safe, it's unlikely that many have stated the case as bluntly as does Mr. Wells. "I think there's a lot of junk science out there that's masquerading as true science,'' the Mayor said yesterday.
Yeah, it is junk science based on nothiing. There is not a serious study to show any harmful effects but the fear mongerers continue to spread fear and line their pockets with suckers' money.

(also at Little Tobacco)


John Nicklin said...

It takes guts to throw stones at a hornets' nest.

eng said...

There is not a serious study to show any harmful effects

Are there studies that show it to be safe? If so, then why the labels on the products?

I'd like Roundup Ready (GM) foods to be proven safe, before I am forced to buy them because nothing else will grow due to RoundUp being sprayed indiscriminately.

Has the good mayor offered to drink a glass of herbicide "in small quantities", such as might end up on a lawn?

John Nicklin said...

eng, safe is a relative term, what ends up on a lawn may not be safe depending on the person applying the substance. I would agree that "safe" is not the best word, but most pesticides and herbicides can be used safely if precautions are taken. The mayor would be a fool to drink the amount that "might end up on a lawn" as most lawns are over treated according to application directions. Some of the stuff you do eat, I assume, like salt can be fatal in large doses, but then again, you wouldn't dose yourself to that extent because you want to be safe.

Your point about indiscriminant application of roundup and other substances is well taken. But there are ways to use the products that are relatively safe and harmless to humans.

Assuming that you don't live in an apartment or condo, would you use a herbicide on your lawn to get rid of, say, moss? Moss is a major problem where I live. Unchecked, it will take over a lawn in no time.

Little Tobacco said...

you can't prove something is safe... that's ridiculous

Anonymous said...

Before you ban herbicide, I would like to see it proven that more lives will be saved from pesticide poisoning than will be lost from asthma attacks due to rampant growth of ragweed. Ragweed is a major cause of asthma ... asthma is one of the numero uno causes of emergency room visits ... and it kills around 500 people per year in Canada. If ragweed proliferates then how many more deaths will result?

As for GM food ... It would be bad if you were forced to eat GM food unwillingly, but I'm not sure I follow the logic about nothing else growing because of indiscriminate use of roundup. Organic farmers use little or no herbicide, so they wouldn't be severely affected by the proliferation of roundup-resistant weeds. The price of food would go up ... or, human ingenuity would come up with either better weed control methods or better crops.

And remember ... one pernicious government interference in the market always leads to another. If you want to see less roundup in the environment you should probably get the US government to stop spraying billions of liters of it all over Latin America trying to enrich Monsanto ERRR! I mean stamp out demon cocaine. You can tell them to stop subsidizing all those crops like corn, soybeans and cotton whose fields gobble up so much roundup too. And tell them to stop enforcing patents on living things. When you've chopped government down to the size of say, 50 years ago, then check and see how much roundup abuse is still going on.