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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 29, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta 2 LETHBRIDQE HERALD 7- TiMMlay, October 39, 1974 i gardeners use pesticides ignorantly9 To city folk a "bug is a bug. There is no such thing as a good bug or a bad bug." In its brief to the Environment Conser- vation Authority the County of Lethbridge agricultural committee says herbicide and pesticide abuses can be prevented only if strict marketing controls are aimed at city dwellers, and not fanners. While government experts advise farmers in the correct use of chemicals to control weeds and pests, city dwellers receive little or no similar guidance. And while a farmer must have a good work- ing knowledge of chemicals, the city gar- dener generally uses them ignorantly, the fanner's report charges. "The abuse of chemicals takes place largely in urban centres, where urban dwellers are allowed to walk into almost any retail outlet and select from the shelf a can or box of some kind of chemical to kill a bug or weed that they do not even know the name of. _ "For example, a homeowner has an infestation of worms on his property. So he goes to the store, selects a can that should kill the worm "The next day or week he still has the worms... (so) he dumps the remains of the chemical into the toilet bowl and flushes it into the river. "He then goes'to the same store and selects another brand name product and the same thing happens To top it all off, the worm was probably useful and harmless to begin with. Following this grisly scenario, the fanners' report offers these comments and questions: "Far too often the consumer never reads the label on a product before using it. If he does, he thinks if the label says to use two ounces for square feet, he will use four and do twice as good a job. "There are too many products on the market containing the same thing but bearing a different brand name "How often are chemicals recommended (to the buyer) by a salesclerk that are of no value to the con- sumer? "How often does the consumer use the wrong product, that has been recommended out of sheer Finally, the brief asks: "How often are chemicals disposed of improperly or The report makes two recommen- dations: "Pesticides and herbicides are too available to toe general public and controls are needed at the selling level to discourage abuse... "Fewer outlets should be allowed to handle chemicals (retailers) should be forced to take a course, as a phar- macist does. that fewer and better products could be stocked." MfflgffiSSSSf STAN PRASKACH ASSEMBLES CHEMICAL DISPLAY Farmers maintain chemicals essential Alberta farmers cannot maintain the quantity or quality of current food production without continuing to use weed and pest control chemicals, say food producers in the County of Lethbridge. In a strongly-worded brief to be presented Wednesday before local hearings of the Alberta Environment Conservation Authority, county fanners claim pesticides and herbicides are vital if Alberta expects to continue feeding a world "starving itself to death." The six-page brief, prepared by the county's agriculture committee follow- ing a public meeting with area producers, says Alberta farmers "produce far more than our immediate needs, and for this increased production we depend on pesticides and herbicides. "How about serving the enviit talists some weed bread instead of wheat queries the position paper stating: "Pesticides and herbicides are necessary but in no way can we suggest they be banned entirely as en- vironmentalists suggest" The report says consumers take grain quality for granted: "If it were not for the use of herbicides in the control of wild oats you and I would likely consume more wild oats than wheat in our bread. "Wheat is cleaned and inspected before it is ground into flour... (but) the cost of cleaning at the mill would be far greater were herbicides not used. Besides this, the end product is far purer than it would be if herbicides were banned. Wild oats is just one (of 30) variety of weed." The brief also examines production of vegetables and beef: "Some (people) may enjoy meaty worms and bugs along with their fresh vegetables (bat) without pesticides we would likely be forced to throw away more infested product than goodVuseable product. "Our beef is high priced today. Think of the price we would be paying if ntalists had their way. "Pests such as the warble fly are com- mon on cattle... and a large amount of meat is lost every day in packing houses due to warble damage. Farmers must know the effects and side effects of herbicides and pesticides thev use in food production. Because of high costs, chemicals are not used wastefully, the report stresses. ;