Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Environmental fraud - the 2,4D scare

Today, on page 5 of the Post, Terence Corcoran responded to Monday's happy-faced front-page story about dandelions:
So now the old "yellow flower" is a thing of horticultural attraction. This glorious news hit the front page of the National Post Monday in a report that portrayed the weedy dandelion as a reborn object of beauty and affection.
... Unfortunately, the yellow dandelion flower has a halflife of about nine hours, after which it starts cranking out fluffy white seed carriers that scatter billions of future dandelions all over the urban nation.
... oh how the green activists and environmental alliances must have loved that story. What an achievement, a great science con job, a brilliant bait-and-switch policy scam, and a model for future activism. It's a con job the National Post story, brightly illustrated and with an upbeat headline (Dandelions finally get their day in the sun), failed to mention.
Ottawa, the Quebec government and Dow AgroSciences settled a lawsuit under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Dow AgroSciences had sued over Quebec government claims the pesticide 2,4-D, the key dandelion exterminator, was a health risk.
The settlement agreement, a victory for the company, includes a statement from the government of Quebec saying the pesticide 2,4-D does "not pose an unacceptable risk to human health or the environment" when used according to instructions. It is too late, however, to undo the damage at the municipal level.
... Governments have long known that 2,4-D is safe, but they eventually caved in to activists, who ... turned the pesticide battle into a war on cosmetic pesticides as a "precautionary" move. [The same fraudulent "logic" they use to push their AGW scare-mongering.]
... Celebrating seeming acceptance of the weeds as "flowers" is to celebrate the triumph of the politics of social and esthetic control by government. The dandelion is the official flower of statism.
Now, if only I can get my strata landscaping committee to resume use of 2,4D before their new "environmentally sensitive" pesticide-free lawn keeping takes its toll any more than it already has. That is, assuming that the push for a complete ban doesn't come to pass. Oops - my City of Surrey, a self-proclaimed champion of the environment and "sustainability", has already effectively banned it.


Martin said...

I just finished spraying for a very nasty weed infested lawn. I don't like 2 4D, but it is sometimes necessary, if you really want to kill tough weeds. I admit to a perverse pleasure, knowing that 2 4D, Roundup and other herbicides are banned here by Dalton McGuinty. I imported my contrabrand from a NY hardware store.

JR said...

As Quebec was forced to declare, 2,4D is safe when used according to instructions. Now McGuinty, every other Premier and every municipality should be forced to do the same AND remove their bans. Best of luck with that, you say.

Xanthippa said...

I think there are two separate issues here - it is harmful to confuse them.

One of these is a pesticide ban - a bad thing, given the data that proves the pesticide is 'safe'. The other is freedom to choose the plants one wishes to grow on their property.

There is more to pesticide use than just 'safe' - specifically, most pesticides 'bleed' into neighbouring properties. And while I have no objection at all to my neighbours doing with their property with whatever they please, I strongly object them doing anything that will affect my property, killing my plants up to 2m withing my property boundary. With the tiny little city yard, this leaves almost nothing left for me to grow my dandelions on!

And, yes - I LOVE dandelions!

Not only do I find them esthetically superior to grass - in ALL the stages of their growth, including the non-flowering phase, I happen to not be allergic to them....something I cannot say about grass!

Not only are lawns hideous to look at, even touching grass with my skin causes me horrible blisters - something dandelions, wild strawberry plants, yarrow and other ground-plants I choose to grow on my property instead of ugly grass do not. Which is why I prefer them.

My property, I should be able to make this choice, right?

Plus, my rabbit LOVES the taste of dandelions: during winter, I have to buy dandelions for him at the produce store. Let's not loose track of the fact that dandelions were introduced into North America as a farmed plant and a lot of us (pet and human alike) like to eat them.

But, how can I possibly let my bunny frolick in MY yard, eating MY dandelions, when so many of them are dying of poison that my neighbours have sprayed? How can I dare put the young shoots into the dinner salad - or collect the blossoms for the traditional dandelion honey - when so many of them are 'shriveled' after my neighbour's chemicals run off on to my property? The chemicals are tested for toxicity of skin exposure - not for munching on!

We MUST respect property rights - but I am not sure that poisoning a neighbour's food plants is doing that...

JR said...

Xanthippa, What's that you say? You're not allergic to rabbits?

I believe chemicals like 2,4D are also tested for their general propensity to contaminate the food chain. Thus, their approved, safe use takes this into account.

2,4d is also effective in controlling weeds like ragweed that cause allergies in humans - and controlling weeds such as poison ivy and poison oak that are poisonous to humans and other animals (eg. your wabbit).

Anonymous said...


You are being ignorant in your assumptions, that is nothing new. Now days many people do not take the time to understand real life, they just listen to others to make their decisions. [My brothers, friends uncle told me. Beyond Pesticides said, or my favorite Paul Tukey said....]

99% of 2,4-D use is on Food Crops, thats right, on your food.

Organic = a higher risk of E.Coli contamination, manure is not your friend. They actually irradiate commercial raw fruits and vegetables to solve this problem. That means its not organic anymore.

You would be fine eating dandelion on your own property, 2,4-D will not sneak into your yard and kill you.

Mind your own business and lawn and we will mind ours.


Anonymous said...

Pesticides are POISONS. Just because you want a sterile looking lawn, it should be allowed? Once these poisons (linked to ALS, cancers) are applied to your lawn do you not realize that they move, they don't just lay on your lawn. Would you drink this pesticide? No. But you effectively doing so because these chemicals leach into groundwater, lakes, streams and into your tap water. It's your property but not your right to poison the drinking water we all rely upon. Get over the vanity and start eating your dandelions.

4again said...

Many food products we consume are poisonous,also. Some non food products are poisonous, however our bodies are able to process and excrete harmful products. The problem is when we over consume products and not necessary when we are being exposed at a minute level.
Example 1 oz of gin per day may not be harmful but 30 oz in one hour is life threatening. Alcohol is also a poison and is a known carcigen. But used responsibly I don't believe alcohol consumption will be cancerous to me. I have a similar belief that 2,4-d is not cancerous when used responsibly. Unlike alcohol and nicotine 2,4-d I believe is not considered a known carcigen