----- Original Message -----
From: Sandra Finley
To: sabest1@sasktel.net
Sent: Sunday, November 27, 2005 8:30 PM
Subject: Pesticides: some updates de


to Hart)

My apologies for taking so long to get the Supreme Court decision to you.
It was a "hallelujah" day!  A number of municipalities were waiting for the
Supreme Court's ruling. They will now proceed with their own bylaws.
CropLife Canada (the pesticide industry) was ordered to pay for the costs
incurred by the City of Toronto - lovely!!

When you read the articles regarding the connection between Parkinson's
disease and pesticides, it makes you angry that we pay the Pest Management
Regulatory Agency (PMRA), part of Health Canada, to regulate.  And then have
to fight in every municipality across the country to get protection from
exposure to pesticides because the PMRA isn't doing its job.

The first article mentions Michael J. Fox's Parkinson's disease and the work
of Dr. Bill Langston.  Fox developed the disease at a younger age than most
sufferers.  A t.v. documentary on Parkinson's disease mentioned that 3
people who worked together at CBC in Vancouver, Fox being one, all developed

Langston theorized that maybe the effects of chemicals on brain cells are
like what happens to people in war:  some soldiers (cells) are killed
outright, some die in hospital a little later from mortal wounds, and others
are injured but survive and die prematurely.  The disease becomes apparent
when the premature deaths start happening.  It's an interesting theory.

The work of Dr. Lorene Nelson from Stanford University is mentioned.  We
circulated her work a few years ago.  She was one of the first to draw a
connection between pesticides and Parkinson's disease via an epidemiological
study.  Her work was not based on the farm population but on households that
use pesticides indoors.

This article in the Los Angeles Times states "Scientists first observed a
high rate of Parkinson's in rural areas in the early 1980s in Saskatchewan,
Canada."  Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a disease that is related to
Parkinson's.  Saskatchewan and Alberta have among the highest rates of MS in
the world.  So we have high incidence of Parkinson's, high incidence of MS,
more and more confirmation that Parkinson's is related to chemical exposure.
... I wish I had kept track of the source of this statistic:  Saskatchewan
buys 36% of the agricultural chemicals sold in Canada.  Old-timers will
remember my beef: (unless they've changed their policy) the MS Society
collects money to find a cure but won't allocate money to investigate a
possible link between MS and exposure to chemicals.

Parkinson's disease, childhood cancer, developmental problems, ... not to
mention impacts on wildlife, water supplies, etc.  Crimes.  Failures of
credentialled people to assume responsibility.  Except for good people in
Toronto, Halifax, ... they are leading the way.

We need to keep up the pressure.  Thank goodness for the Supreme Court.



November 27, 2005 latimes.com : California Single page

Hot on Parkinson's Trail
Scientists have amassed evidence that long-term exposure to toxic compounds,
especially pesticides, can trigger the neurological disease.

By Marla Cone, Times Staff Writer

MERCED, Calif. - A thousand acres stretched before him as Gary Rieke walked
briskly behind a harvester, the parched, yellow stalks of rice sweeping
against his knees. Stopping to adjust a bolt on the machine, Rieke struggled
to maneuver a wrench with his trembling fingers.

It was 1988, and Rieke was in his mid-40s, too young and too fit to feel his
body betraying him. For two decades, he had farmed in the heart of the San
Joaquin Valley, and he knew what he wanted his hand to do. But for some
frustrating reason, it refused to obey.

Unbeknownst to Rieke, by the time he noticed the slightest tremor, some
400,000 of his brain cells had been wiped out. Like an estimated other 1
million Americans, most over 55, he had Parkinson's disease, and his
thoughts could no longer control his movements. In time, he would struggle
to walk and talk.

Rieke, who was exposed to weedkillers and other toxic compounds all his
life, has long suspected that they were somehow responsible for his disease.

Now many experts are increasingly confident that Rieke's hunch is correct.
Scientists have amassed a growing body of evidence that long-term exposure
to toxic compounds, particularly pesticides, can destroy neurons and trigger
Parkinson's in some people.

So far, they have implicated several pesticides that cause Parkinson's
symptoms in animals. But hundreds of agricultural and industrial chemicals
probably play a role, they believe.

Researchers don't use the word "cause" when linking environmental exposures
to a disease. Instead, epidemiologists look for clusters and patterns in
people, and neurobiologists test theories in animals. If their findings are
repeatedly consistent, that is as close to proving cause and effect as they

Now, with Parkinson's, this medical detective work has edged closer to
proving the case than with almost any other human ailment. In most patients,
scientists say, Parkinson's is a disease with environmental origins.

Scientists are "definitely there, beyond a doubt, in showing that
environmental toxicants have to be involved" in some cases of Parkinson's
disease, said Freya Kamel, an epidemiologist with the National Institute of
Environmental Health Sciences who has documented a high rate of neurological
problems in farmers who use pesticides.

"It's not one nasty thing that is causing this disease. I think it's
exposure to a combination of many environmental chemicals over a lifetime.
We just don't know what those chemicals are yet, but we certainly have our

For almost two centuries, since English physician James Parkinson described
a "shaking palsy" in 1817, doctors have been baffled by the condition.

In most people, a blackened, bean-size sliver at the base of the brain -
called the substantia nigra - is crammed with more than half a million
neurons that produce dopamine, a messenger that controls the body's

But in Parkinson's patients, more than two-thirds of those neurons have

After decades of work, researchers are still struggling with many unanswered
questions, such as which chemicals may kill dopamine neurons, who is
vulnerable and how much exposure is risky.

Expressed in legal terms, pesticides are not guilty beyond a reasonable
doubt - but there is a substantial, and rapidly growing, body of evidence,
many scientists say.

Clues and breakthroughs are emerging from an odd menagerie of laboratory
flies, mice, rats and monkeys, from bits of human brain, and from farmers
like Rieke.

And it all started with a junkie named George.

It was July 1982, and a 42-year-old patient named George Carrillo had
lingered in Santa Clara emergency rooms and psychiatric units for more than
two weeks. He seemed catatonic, unable to move or speak. Dr. Bill Langston,
who ran a neurology department, was brought in to try to figure out what was

Langston gently lifted the man's elbow. His arm was stiff, moving like a
gearshift. Langston had seen this odd, rigid movement many times before, in
patients with Parkinson's disease.

But this was no ordinary Parkinson's patient. His symptoms had developed
virtually overnight.

The doctors soon tracked the source: a botched batch of synthetic heroin
that contained MPTP, a compound that acted like an assassin, targeting the
same neurons missing in Parkinson's patients.

Langston had stumbled across a powerful chemical that unleashed an
immediate, severe form of Parkinson's.

Still, it was obvious that synthetic heroin wasn't the culprit for most
Parkinson's patients. People are exposed to some 70,000 chemicals in their
environment. Which others could cause the disease?

A few days later, a chemist contacted Langston. The formula for the heroin
compound, the chemist said, "looks just like paraquat." Paraquat has been
one of the world's most popular weedkillers for decades. It was a good place
to start.

Since that discovery, scientists have conducted hundreds of animal
experiments, at least 40 studies of human patients, and three of human brain
tissue. They have found "a relatively consistent relationship between
pesticide exposure and Parkinson's," British researchers reported online in
September in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

The work has revolutionized the thinking about Parkinson's, shifting the
decades-long debate about whether its roots are genetic or environmental.
Among the research leaders are UCLA, the Parkinson's Institute in Sunnyvale,
Calif., which Langston founded and now directs, and Atlanta's Emory
University, each named national centers for Parkinson's research in 2001 and
given a total of $20 million in federal grants.

Head trauma contributes to some cases of Parkinson's, and it probably
explains why boxer Muhammad Ali was stricken. But why does it afflict others
with seemingly nothing in common, such as the late Pope John Paul II and
actor Michael J. Fox?

A couple of genes seem to play a role in early onset of Parkinson's in the
small percentage of people who are afflicted at a young age. But for 90% of
people who get the disease, a broad array of environmental factors are
believed responsible. In fact, when Parkinson's patients have identical
twins who carry the exact same genes, most of the twins do not contract the

"All told, the forms of Parkinson's with a known or presumed genetic cause
account for a small fraction of the disease, likely 5% or less,"
epidemiologists Dr. Caroline Tanner of the Parkinson's Institute and Lorene
Nelson of Stanford University reported in 2003.

To pinpoint which environmental exposures are most important, scientists are
trying to unravel how genes and toxic chemicals interact to destroy brain
cells. One leading theory is that pesticides cause over-expression of a gene
that floods the brain with a neuron-killing protein.

Exposure to chemicals early in life, followed by toxic exposures in
adulthood, may be especially important, triggering a slow death of neurons
that debilitates people decades later.

Compounds with little in common, such as a fungicide and an insecticide,
apparently can team up to administer a one-two punch, decimating brain

"Pesticides and related industrial chemicals, those classes of compounds,
clearly are associated with some cases of Parkinson's," said Gary Miller, a
toxicologist and associate professor at Emory University's Rollins School of
Public Health. "The question is, how many? 5%, 10%, 50%? In a chemical-free
society, people would still get Parkinson's disease. It would just occur
later in life and at a lower incidence."

Even 5% would involve 50,000 Americans alive today.

More than 1 billion pounds of herbicides, insecticides and other
pest-killing chemicals are used on U.S. farms and gardens and in households.
Nearly all adults and children tested have traces of multiple pesticides in
their bodies.

So far, animal tests have implicated the pesticides paraquat, rotenone,
dieldrin and maneb - alone or in combination - as well as industrial
compounds called PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls.

Pesticide industry representatives stress that there are many risk factors
and insufficient evidence implicating any specific pesticide. Scientists
agree that they cannot specify an individual culprit.

"We know for sure that if you expose animals to certain pesticides, it will
kill the same neurons as Parkinson's disease. That's a fact. In humans,
there is high suspicion, but there is no definite proof," said Dr.
Marie-Francoise Chesselet, director of the UCLA Center for Gene-Environment
Studies in Parkinson's Disease.

A connection to rural living or farming has turned up worldwide. Scientists
first observed a high rate of Parkinson's in rural areas in the early 1980s
in Saskatchewan, Canada. Since then a dozen published studies have reported
an increase of 60% to 600% among people exposed to pesticides, according to
the British scientists' review.

Still, the science of epidemiology has inherent weaknesses. Most of the
human studies, for example, relied on patients' memories - most of which
cannot be validated - to report their pesticide exposures.

"You need to be cautious in drawing conclusions when you know there are
flaws in these studies," said Pamela Mink, an epidemiologist who evaluated
the human studies in a peer-reviewed report partly funded by the pesticide

Most patients probably were exposed decades before their diagnosis. Because
there is no national registry for Parkinson's, as there is for cancer, no
one knows whether rates are high in places such as the San Joaquin Valley.

Among those trying to obtain more definitive answers, UCLA environmental
epidemiologist Dr. Beate Ritz has contacted nearly 300 Parkinson's patients
and 250 healthy people in Tulare, Fresno and Kern counties. She is
pinpointing their pesticide exposures down to the day, the pound and the
street corner by overlaying their addresses with California's extensive
agricultural database, which details pesticide use on farms since the 1970s.

Also, 52,000 farmers and other pesticide applicators have been tracked by
federal researchers since the mid-1990s and one goal is to document their
exposure and see how many wind up with Parkinson's.

Animal studies provide more evidence but also have weaknesses. Mink and
toxicologist Abby Li, who co-wrote the report financed partly by industry,
concluded that the human and animal data "do not provide sufficient
evidence" to prove pesticides cause Parkinson's.

Scientists first tested paraquat in rodents, but the findings were
inconclusive. Neurologist Tim Greenamyre showed that rotenone, a pesticide,
could kill rats' dopamine neurons and cause Parkinson's symptoms. But since
rotenone is a natural plant compound that is not used much on farms, it was
not a likely source of the human disease.

Neurotoxicologist Deborah Cory-Slechta has presented the most compelling
evidence yet on how everyday environmental factors can play a role in
Parkinson's disease. Her theory was that testing one chemical at a time for
its impact on the brain was misguided.

"It's not how humans are exposed," she said. "You don't get a single dose of
a pesticide. You get chronic, low-level exposure."

She injected mice with paraquat and the fungicide maneb. Use of the two
sometimes overlaps on farms. Alone, paraquat and maneb did not harm mice in
her laboratory. But "when we put them together, we were astounded,"
Cory-Slechta said.

The most dramatic damage was in mice exposed to maneb as fetuses and then to
paraquat as adults. Their motor activity declined 90% and their dopamine
levels plummeted 80%.

The amounts used in those tests "are not high levels of exposure. These are
very, very low doses," said Cory-Slechta, who now directs Rutgers
University's Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute.

Paraquat and maneb are unlikely to be the only combination with such a
devastating effect. Yet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considers
only single exposures when approving pesticides, an approach that "doesn't
mimic environmental reality," Cory-Slechta said.

"There may be hundreds, if not thousands, of other compounds that are silent
killers of dopamine neurons," said Dr. Donato Di Monte, director of basic
research at the Parkinson's Institute.

"Each of these risk factors, they kill 10, 20 or 30% of your neurons. It's
like eroding a house on a cliff, and the house finally falls over.

With so much emerging human and animal data, Chesselet predicts that "in two
years, we will have a preponderance of evidence" against some classes of
chemicals. Kamel thinks specific pesticides will be pinned down within five

For Rieke, it is impossible to determine which chemicals may have played a
role in his disease. He owned two dry-cleaners - handling industrial
solvents for seven years - and for 25 years he mixed and applied at least a
dozen herbicides and insecticides on his Merced farm.

At 59, Rieke had to sell the farm and retire. Now 64, he seems 10 years
older despite taking seven medications daily.

"Every year, there are things that we all take for granted that my dad can
no longer do," said his son, Greg. "There's no cure, and it never gets
better. There's not a lot of hope, if you will."

Though it's too late for Rieke, scientists are confident they'll soon be
able to predict who is vulnerable to environmental assaults on their brains.

"That would be the Holy Grail for us," Miller said. "To actually pinpoint
people at risk of this disease and protect them."

Parkinson's and pesticides
Scientists now believe that exposure to toxic substances, particularly
pesticides, could explain some brain cell degeneration that leads to
Parkinson's disease, a disorder that affects body movement and coordination.
Neurons or brain cells in the mid-brain produce dopamine, one of two
neurotransmitters that help the brain and body communicate to produce smooth
muscle movements and body coordination.
People with Parkinson's disease lose 60% to 80% of their dopamine-producing
neurons in a part of the mid-brain called the substantia nigra, hindering
communication between the mind and body. Scientists think some pesticides
may kill neurons in the substantia nigra.
When dopamine is present
In a normal mid-brain, the substantia nigra has cells that are pigmented, or
colored black, a byproduct of dopamine production.
Absence of dopamine
Parkinson's patients lack this pigmentation because they've lost so many



ISU researcher helps fight Parkinson's disease
By: William Dillon

Anumantha Kanthasamy spent the early part of his career at the University of
California at Irvine.
      While there, he worked on creating compounds to protect the way the
human brain produces dopamine, a chemical essential to the body's function
because it sends messages between nerve cells in the brain.
      A drop in dopamine levels below a certain point causes impairment of a
person's motor skills and movements, also known as Parkinson's disease.
      In 2000, Kanthasamy brought his research to the campus of Iowa State
University, but his attention had shifted, focusing more on a trend that
strongly affects people right here in the heartland of America.
      In a paper published in 2004, Kanthasamy noted that "Some
epidemiological studies have reported that early-onset (Parkinson's disease)
tends to be observed in rural areas where farming is a major occupation."
      "When I looked at the literature and all the data, what always showed
up is that the people exposed to pesticides tend to be three or four times
more susceptible to Parkinson's," he said.
      According to the paper, farmers ranged up to 5.2 times more
susceptible to Parkinson's disease. Pesticide and herbicide users ranged up
to 3.2 times more susceptible.
      Kanthasamy's research now focuses mainly on one particular
degenerating pesticide called dieldrin. The pesticide was first synthesized
in 1946 and sold widely in the United States between 1950 and the mid-1970s.
The popular pesticide was used for the treatment of seeds and to control
soil pests like termites, grasshoppers, locusts and beetles.
      With the huge number of cells in the brain, Kanthasamy is now leading
research to find why this particular pesticide is attacking the localized
area responsible for Parkinson's disease and how it goes about killing the
      "If we know how they die, we can try to save them," he said.
      Although dopamine replacement therapy has been at the heart of
Parkinson's disease research for the past 30 years, researchers have been
unable to positively interfere with the destruction of cells fundamental to
Parkinson's disease.
      "We can say it kills, but nobody knows how," Kanthasamy said. "You
need to understand that, and that is what we are focusing on."
      The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency restricted the use of
dieldrin in 1974 because of the harmful effects it could have to both humans
and the environment. It continued to be used mainly for termite control
until 1987 when the government organization banned it for almost all uses.
      Given a patient's exposure to many possible cell-degenerating
chemicals, researchers have not been able to nail down exactly which class
of chemicals and pesticides kill the dopamine-producing cells, but dieldrin
is one that has been specifically found to be degenerating, Kanthasamy said.
      The long-term goal of Kanthasamy's research is to develop inhibitors,
possibly in the form of drugs, that could block these pesticides from
damaging the dopamine-producing cells, he said. He looks forward to one day
not only using these measures on patients of Parkinson's disease, but also
in preventative ways for those like farmers who are more susceptible to
acquire the disease through environmental conditions.
      Since 2001, Kanthasamy has received nearly $3 million in funding from
the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. government's primary division
for medical research.
      Earlier this month, Kanthasamy was named the W. Eugene and Linda R.
Lloyd Endowed Professor at ISU. The three-year professorship also
contributes additional money to Kanthasamy for his research.
      Although the pesticide at the heart of Kanthasamy's research is no
longer produced in the United States, the dangers of it leading to future
cases of Parkinson's disease still exist.
      Dieldrin is still used in several developing countries around the
world, leaving people open to exposure.
      Dieldrin was found to be the most abundant pesticide in tested river
sediments during an epidemiological study recently conducted in Taiwan.
      In addition to the low levels that still exist in the environment, a
person can also be contaminated from eating meat, dairy products or
consuming fish or shellfish from contaminated waters. Dieldrin can also
accumulate in the body, storing itself in the body's fat and leaving very
      The half-life of dieldrin in the environment is more than 50 years,
Kanthasamy said. With its continued use in some countries and its ability to
accumulate, there is no telling when, if ever, the pesticide will be gone
from the Earth.

William Dillon can be reached
at 232-2161, Ext. 361, or William.Dillon@amestrib.com.


November 17, 2005
Supreme Court rejects pesticide by-law appeal

Dr. David McKeown, Toronto's Medical Officer of Health, is pleased
that the Supreme Court of Canada has dismissed a challenge to the
City's by-law restricting the use of pesticides.

Crop Life Canada, a trade association that includes pesticide
producers, had sought to appeal a unanimous Ontario Court of Appeal
decision upholding the City's authority to adopt a by-law restricting
pesticide use. The Supreme Court today denied Crop Life's application
for leave to appeal, ending legal challenges to the by-law.

"The courts have consistently supported the right of municipalities
to pass laws protecting the health and safety of residents. The
Supreme Court's decision refusing to hear the appeal has affirmed the
City's program to minimize the non-essential use of pesticides," said
Dr. McKeown.

Toronto Public Health launched a "Go Natural" education campaign last
spring promoting tips for pesticide-free lawn and garden care. The
campaign continued this fall and will be promoted again in the spring
of 2006.

The phase-in of the by-law enforcement began this year. For
commercial pesticide applicators and commercial property owners,
warnings are issued for first-time non-compliance. Following this, a
ticket or summons may be issued. Homeowners and renters may be fined
for non-compliance starting in September 2007.

The "Go Natural" campaign and other by-law information materials are
available on the City's Web site at http://www.toronto.ca/health.
Residents can call 416-338-7600 for gardening tips.

Media contact:

Gil Hardy
Toronto Public Health




Canada's top court rejects final pesticide industry challenge
Groups ecstatic as Ciyt of Toronto pesticide by-law
withstands final legal assault

November 17, 2005

TORONTO - The Supreme Court of Canada announced today that it has
rejected the pesticide industry's last gasp effort to challenge the
City of Toronto's pesticide by-law. The bylaw was passed in order to
reduce the non-essential use of pesticides within the city and was
appealed by Croplife Canada, an industry association that represents
the manufacturers and applicators of pesticide products. Croplife
lost in the lower court and at the Ontario Court of Appeal, and today
the Supreme Court announced that it will not hear Croplife's appeal,
thus ending the challenge.

Sierra Legal Defence Fund and Canadian Environmental Law Association
(CELA) represented a broad coalition of interveners in the case,
including the Toronto Environmental Alliance, Federation of Canadian
Municipalities, World Wildlife Fund Canada, Canadian Association of
Physicians for the Environment, Sierra Club of Canada, Environmental
Defence, and Ontario College of Family Physicians.

"Canada's top court has once again confirmed that communities have
the right to pass bylaws to protect the health of their citizens and
their environment," said Justin Duncan, lawyer with Sierra Legal
Defence Fund. "Other Ontario municipalities now have a clear green
light to consider passing similar by-laws."

The Toronto pesticide by-law was closely patterned after a similar
by-law passed by the Town of Hudson, Quebec fourteen years ago. That
by-law was upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada in 2001 in a
landmark decision that strongly endorsed the power of municipal
governments to restrict the use of pesticides within their

"This is a another great victory for the environment and public
health, and the ability for municipalities to act in a precautionary
way," said Paul Muldoon, Executive Director of CELA. "This is a truly
great day for municipalities in Ontario."

"Lawns, gardens and parks can be maintained without chemical
pesticides," said Julia Langer of WWF Canada, who is also a Director
of the Organic Landscape Alliance. "Municipalities are simply
responding to peoples' concerns for the environment and their health.
Instead of using the legal system to filibuster legitimate local
bylaws, the lawn-care sector should wake up, smell the pesticide-free
roses and go organic."

"It has been a long road, but the pesticide industry has played their
last card and lost," observed Katrina Miller, campaigner for the
Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA). "A local community's right to
protect children's health and the environment has prevailed once


For further information please contact:

Theresa McClenaghan, CELA: 519.755.7579 (cell)
Justin Duncan, Sierra Legal: 416.368.7533 ext. 22
Julia Langer, WWF Canada: 416.484.7709
Katrina Miller, TEA: 416.596.0660

Sierra Legal (www.sierralegal.org) is a national non-profit
organization dedicated to environmental justice



  Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment

130 Spadina Avenue, Suite 301 Toronto,ON  M5V 2L4
Tel: 416-306-2273  Fax: 416-960-9392  www.cape.ca

Doctors Applaud Supreme Court Pesticide Decision

November 17, 2005

TORONTO-The Supreme Court of Canada's refusal to hear a challenge to
Toronto's pesticide bylaw is a victory for public health right across
the country, says the Canadian Association of Physicians for the
Environment (CAPE).

CAPE says the Court's decision - which means the bylaw's
legal validity can no longer be questioned - should empower other
municipalities to pass similar legislation.

"This is a great day for people's health and a great day for
our drinking water, rivers, and aquatic life," said CAPE's Executive
Director Gideon Forman. "Lawn pesticides are a significant threat to
human safety, particularly the safety of children. The Supreme
Court's decision means the residents of Toronto will continue to
enjoy protection from these poisons."

CAPE provided expert testimony to city committees when
council was debating the bylaw.

The bylaw -- which forbids pesticide use except in certain
limited situations -- was previously upheld by the Ontario Superior
Court and the Ontario Court of Appeal.

"The doctors are urging cities which have not passed a
pesticide bylaw to take strength from today's decision and pass one
as quickly as possible," said Forman. "Otherwise, come Spring
their residents will again be exposed to chemicals linked to birth
defects, neurological disease, and leukemia.  There are so many
non-toxic lawn products now available, pesticides simply aren't

CAPE is a national organization representing hundreds of
medical doctors from coast to coast. It takes a rigorous,
science-based approach in its educational and public advocacy work.

For more information

Gideon Forman, Executive Director
(416) 306-2273


For immediate release:
November 17, 2005

Supreme Court denies chemical industry leave to appeal City's pesticide

(OTTAWA) The Coalition for a Healthy Ottawa (CHO) congratulated
Toronto on its victory for public health. The Supreme Court denied
Croplife Canada leave to appeal Toronto's pesticide bylaw and ordered
costs against the industry group. The decision dismisses the final
legal challenge to Toronto's pesticide bylaw.

Toronto's victory comes one week after the Ottawa City Council failed
to pass measures to curtail pesticide use for landscaping.  Council
was split on issues including how to address differences between
urban and rural areas, and was leery of a court challenge by the
chemical industry.

"The Supreme Court dismissal represents yet another in a string of
losses for industry on the pesticide bylaw issue, and being ordered
to pay the City of Toronto costs just adds insult to injury," said
Angela Rickman, Senior Policy Advisor with the Sierra Club of Canada.
"Of the seventy seven bylaws in force across Canada, not one has been
revoked because of a court challenge in spite of the chemical
companies' best efforts and deep pockets.  Other cities can feel
confident that they needn't fear the expense of resisting a nuisance
lawsuit from the chemical manufacturers."

CHEO and leaders in Ottawa's medical community have warned that
landscaping pesticides are linked to myriad serious, pervasive
problems with the nervous, reproductive and immune systems.  Doctors
recommend not using synthetic pesticides for landscaping, hoping to
reduce asthma, allergies, autism, cancers, Parkinson's Disease, and
many other conditions.

CHO Science Advisor Meg Sears explained why doctors are so concerned
about federally registered products. "Toxicology (animal studies of
single chemicals) and epidemiology (human disease in the real world)
are supposed to be complementary.  However, the federal Pest
Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) is constrained by legislation and
international agreements to examining toxicology.  For instance, the
PMRA's Science Advisory Panel recommended that child cancer be
examined in relation to the herbicide 2,4-D, but this was not done
because children are not exposed to only one chemical at a time!  The
PMRA cannot and does not consider the epidemiological studies that
our doctors find extremely worrisome.  PMRA studies are confidential,
and cannot be verified by independent scientists."

More than 70 municipalities across Canada have restricted cosmetic
pesticide use, since the Supreme Court of Canada affirmed the right
of municipalities to pass anti-pesticide bylaws in 2001.  Over 12
million Canadians are protected from landscaping pesticides, with
local bylaws and Québec's Pesticide Code.

For further information, please contact:
Angela Rickman (613) 241-1839 or 859-5701
Meg Sears (M.Eng., Ph.D.) (613)
832-2806 or 297-6042



Thursday, November 17, 2005

Supreme Court refuses to hear challenge of pesticide ban by producers

Mike Oliveira
Canadian Press

TORONTO (CP) - Environmental and health groups applauded a Supreme
Court decision Wednesday upholding a Toronto pesticide ban they say
allows cities across the country to stop the use of controversial
lawn chemicals.

The court refused to hear an appeal of the Toronto ban by Croplife
Canada, a trade association that includes pesticide producers.

It's a final blow to Croplife, which had asked the high court to hear
the case after the ban was upheld by the Ontario Court of Appeal in

"It's been three courts now that have looked at this case and six
judges have all said now that Croplife Canada doesn't have a case,"
said Justin Duncan of the Sierra Legal Defence Fund.

"Municipalities have the jurisdiction to enact pesticide reduction bylaws."

Toronto passed a bylaw in 2003 that essentially bans the use of
pesticides on private property with few exceptions. Croplife
challenged the ban, saying it was the domain of the federal and
provincial governments to regulate pesticides and therefore up to
them to enforce laws on how they're used.

Debra Conlon of Croplife said she was disappointed with the decision,
arguing that the matter has been taken out of the hands of experts.

"There's an entire agency dedicated to the regulation of pesticides
in Health Canada and there's about 350 PhD types who look at
pesticides each and every day to make sure no pesticide causes any
unacceptable human health or environmental risk before it can be
used," Conlon said.

"It was really important to take the issue out of the hands of
municipalities and keep it with those regulators that are skilled and
have expertise on the issue."

The Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment says some
70 communities across Canada have similar laws in place but
municipalities often face tough battles getting them passed - the
city of Ottawa failed just last month to bring in a pesticide ban.

Duncan said he thinks other jurisdictions will follow Toronto's lead
now that they have the Supreme Court of Canada on their side.

"I think a lot of municipalities were just waiting to see what
happened with this case, I think we'll be seeing a flood of these
type of bylaws now that it's clear that municipalities have
jurisdiction to enact them," Duncan said.

Pesticide use has been linked to a rise in childhood cancers, among
other diseases. A 2004 study found widespread evidence of pesticides
in Quebec children.

Conlon said the court fight was a matter of principle and that
Toronto wasn't a particularly lucrative market for pesticides.

"The majority of pesticides are sold in agriculture (and not urban
centres)," she said.

"Farmers rely on pesticides to provide a safe, affordable and
abundant food supply."

A study paid for by Croplife Canada found that 80 per cent of fresh
foods tested in 2003 and 2004 were residue-free, and processed foods
were 90 per cent residue-free.

In foods that did have residues, almost all were within the safety
guidelines set by Health Canada.

But Julia Langer of the World Wildlife Foundation said pesticides are
unnecessary, particularly with the growth of organic farming.

She said lawns also do not need pesticides to grow.

"It really is time for a new industry, an organic industry," Langer
said. "It can be done without pesticides. There are companies that do
this and it's really just time to move on."

© The Canadian Press 2005



Thu. Nov. 17, 2005.

Toronto Star

Top court upholds pesticide ban


In a decision hailed as a victory for the environment and public
health, Toronto's pesticide ban has been upheld by Canada's highest

The Supreme Court of Canada announced today that it has rejected the
pesticide industry's challenge to Toronto's bylaw that was passed in
order to reduce the non-essential use of pesticides.

The challenge was appealed by industry association Croplife Canada.
Croplife also lost in the lower court and at the Ontario Court of

The Sierra Legal Defence Fund and Canadian Environmental Law
Association (CELA) represented a broad coalition of interveners in
the case, including the Toronto Environmental Alliance, Federation of
Canadian Municipalities, World Wildlife Fund Canada, Canadian
Association of Physicians for the Environment, Sierra Club of Canada,
Environmental Defence and Ontario College of Family Physicians.

"Canada's top court has once again confirmed that communities have
the right to pass bylaws to protect the health of their citizens and
their environment," Justin Duncan, lawyer with Sierra Legal Defence
Fund, said in a release.

"Other Ontario municipalities now have a clear green light to
consider passing similar bylaws."

Meanwhile, the Urban Pest Management Council (UPMC) said that despite
what it calls a "disappointing" court decision, other communities
don't have to follow Toronto's lead.

"Smart municipalities will opt to leave the issue in the hands of
federal regulators," UPMC Executive Director Debra Conlon said in a

She added that city councillors in cities like Ottawa, Saskatoon and
Brandon "have shown themselves to be responsible custodians of their
taxpayers' money by leaving the regulation of pest control products
where it already lies - with the scientists at Health Canada's Pest
Management Regulatory Agency."



November  17, 2005

Lang Michener Supreme Court of Canada L@wLetter 60/2005
The Applicant is a trade association representing manufacturers,
distributors and developers of pesticides for use in, inter alia,
agriculture and in urban settings in Canada. The city had
unsuccessfully applied to the Ministry for approval to enact a by-law
dealing with pesticides without success as the Ministry did not want
to proceed on a patchwork basis, hoping to develop a uniform scheme
throughout the province. The Ministry took no alternate steps,
however, and the city followed up by passing By-law No. 456-2003
pursuant to s. 130 of the provincial Municipal Act, claiming its
authority to do so under the general power to regulate the health,
welfare, morals and safety. The By-law purported to regulate the use
of pesticides within the city boundaries. Croplife Canada sought to
have the By-law quashed on the grounds that it was ultra vires the
city. Croplife's application was dismissed, as was its appeal from
that decision.
Croplife Canada v. City of Toronto (Ont. C.A., May 13, 2005) (31036)
"with costs"

Eugene Meehan, Q.C.
Chair, Supreme Court Practice Group
Lang Michener
300 - 50 O'Connor Street
Ottawa ON K1P 6L2
Phone: (613) 232-7171
Fax: (613) 231-3191
Ontario, Alberta, Yukon, NWT & Nunavut
Licenced to Practise Law in the State of Arizona, U.S.A.

Warning Industry Propaganda Below

  Smart cities will leave pesticide issue in hands of Health Canada
scientists, despite Supreme Court decision

Canada NewsWire - Thursday November 17, 2005

TORONTO, Nov. 17, 2005 (Canada NewsWire via COMTEX) -- The Urban Pest
Management Council (UPMC) says that despite today's decision by the
Supreme Court of Canada not to consider a legal challenge of
Toronto's by-law against lawn and garden pesticide use, smart
municipalities will opt to leave the issue in the hands of federal

"City councillors in several municipalities, including Ottawa,
Saskatoon, Brandon and other centres, have shown themselves to be
responsible custodians of their taxpayers' money by leaving the
regulation of pest control products where it already lies - with the
scientists at Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency,"
said UPMC Executive Director Debra Conlon.

"Municipal council members have a choice: they can spend huge sums of
their ratepayers' money on lawyers, consultants and staff time in
order to write, debate and pass by-laws governing the use of lawn and
garden pest control products, or they can let the federal regulators
- who have both the scientific expertise and the existing authority -
continue to oversee the registration and use of these already
carefully-regulated products."

UPMC and CropLife Canada had sought leave to appeal the City of
Toronto's by-law banning pesticide use to the Supreme Court of
Canada, saying the power of municipalities to remove, without any
proper scientific foundation, the benefits provided by the
science-based federal regulation of pest control products is a matter
of importance to all Canadians.

"We're obviously disappointed that the Supreme Court opted not to
consider our legal challenge of the Toronto by-law, but that doesn't
mean other cities have to follow Toronto's lead. We urge any
municipality that may be considering wading into the issue to follow
the example of Ottawa and the other centres who have resisted the
temptation to re-invent the wheel at taxpayers' expense," Conlon said.

The Urban Pest Management Council of Canada is a Committee of
CropLife Canada and represents the manufacturers, formulators,
distributors and allied associations of specialty pest management
products, for the consumer or professional markets used in turf,
ornamental, pest management, forestry, aquatic, vegetation management
and other non-food/fibre applications.

SOURCE: Urban Pest Management Council of Canada

SOURCE: CropLife Canada

Kristina Fixter, Director, Communications, (416) 622-9771, ext. 224,

Copyright (C) 2005 CNW Group. All rights reserved.


1.  Supreme Court of Canada Dismisses CropLife Appeal of Toronto Pesticide

The Supreme Court of Canada has dismissed an application from CropLife
seeking leave to appeal the Ontario Court of Appeal decision regarding the
Toronto pesticide bylaw. In rejecting the pesticide industry leave
application, Canada's highest court also ordered CropLife to pay the City's
costs. This decision ends the pesticide industry's legal avenues for
challenging the Toronto bylaw. This decision confirms the unanimous
decision, released last May by the Ontario Court of Appeal which reconfirmed
the Supreme Court of Canada ruling (with respect to the Hudson, Quebec
pesticide bylaw) that Canadian municipalities must be able to govern based
on the health, welfare and interests of their communities.


November 18, 2005 Media Release
November 17, 2005 Media Release from the City of Toronto
  May 13, 2005 Media Release
Ontario Court of Appeal Decision
On-line collection of information about the Hudson, Quebec Pesticide Bylaw
Toronto's Go-Natural campaign and by-law information

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Saskatoon, SK

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