Pesticide use creeps in as election issue

Concerns about health and medicare said to be instituted by former Saskatchewan premier Tommy Douglas as being a provincial responsibility rank high in this election. But are they provincial responsibilities?

Pesticides and pharmaceuticals are under Health Canada’s control. The legal principle in respect to them supports the laws of toxic torts – protective measures should be taken in the absence of scientific certainty, if in doubt don’t do it – and should be applicable to chemical companies as well as regulatory agencies.

That neurotoxic pesticides cause neurological deficits found in Alzheimers disease is absolutely certain. That such chemicals cause irreversible memory loss has been known since at least 1947. By 1986, eminent pesticide neuro-toxicologists were expressing deep concern that prenatal exposure to pesticides would lead to autism.

Promising some support for victims and families of those affected by pesticide poisoning is not good enough when the Crown and chemical companies are wholly liable. These matters must be taken into account in negotiating any new health accord.

Which candidate can best serve you in these matters? After last week’s all-candidates meeting I am not sure I can vote with a clear conscience for any of the candidates.

Ann Kuczerpa

Oak Bay