New Democrats introduce bill to ban cosmetic pesticides in B.C.
The B.C. New Democrats are making another attempt to bring into law a provincewide ban on cosmetic pesticides used on lawns and gardens.
Opposition NDP leader Adrian Dix introduced a bill called the Cosmetic Use of Pesticides Control Act in the legislature today (May 30).
“This bill will protect public health, safety, and the environment of British Columbia by regulating, restricting, and prohibiting the use and sale of pesticides for residential and cosmetic use, and by regulating the use of pesticides around children,” Dix told the legislature.
The move marks the fourth time the NDP has introduced legislation for a ban. It comes after a committee of B.C. MLAs recently determined there is not enough scientific evidence to justify the outright prohibition of cosmetic pesticides.
As part of its ten-month-long review, the committee heard presentations from stakeholders and received thousands of public submissions about cosmetic pesticides.
The group of MLAs stopped short of calling for an outright ban on cosmetic pesticides. However, they did make recommendations to restrict the use of commercial-grade products and to tighten the rules around sales.
Supporters of a ban argue a precautionary approach should be taken with such pesticides, citing evidence that suggests a possible link to cancer. However, their opponents counter there is adequate federal regulation around whether the chemicals are safe for sale and use.
Following the release of the committee’s report earlier in May, B.C. environment minister Terry Lake said he was still open to the possibility of a ban. Premier Christy Clark has previously expressed support for such a move.
Speaking in the legislature today, Dix said groups including the Union of B.C. Municipalities, the Canadian Cancer Society, and the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment support a ban.
Forty B.C. communities already have bylaws with restrictions on cosmetic pesticides, but the NDP argues provincial legislation is needed to remove the products from store shelves.