Pesticide ad campaign a first in B.C. history

Health authorities launch blitz against toxic lawn products

Leading health organizations launched B.C.’s first ever anti-pesticide advertising campaign last week – a major newspaper blitz that urges all British Columbians to support a lawn and garden pesticide ban.

Health organizations endorsing the campaign include the Canadian Cancer Society, the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, the Lung Association, the Public Health Association of BC and the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment.

“Respected Canadian health organizations have come together in an unprecedented campaign to prohibit toxic lawn products,” said Kathryn Seely, Director of Public Issues at the Canadian Cancer Society, BC and Yukon. “This is the first time in B.C. history that such an initiative has been undertaken. Health experts are hopeful that BC can follow Eastern Canada’s suit with a province-wide pesticide ban.”

The advertisements – which will run in major outlets for eight weeks – urge British Columbians to call or e-mail Premier Christy Clark with a simple message: “I support a lawn and garden pesticide ban!”

“Children across Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia are all protected from these poisons, but the same can’t be said of children in BC,” explained Gideon Forman of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment. “We think that’s outrageous and this unique campaign is designed to rectify it.”

A province-wide pesticide ban is supported not only by health experts but also local residents and B.C. municipalities.

Recent polling shows over 70 per cent of British Columbians favour a pesticide phase-out on private and public properties.

Scientific research shows people exposed to pesticides are at greater risk for cancer, reproductive problems and neurological illness.