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Doctors support B.C. pesticide ban

By Gideon Forman

The Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE) has created an open letter allowing Canada’s health professionals to support a lawn pesticide ban across British Columbia. The letter — which was signed by nearly 100 doctors, nurses, and other health experts in its first week alone — will soon be presented to the B.C. government.

Our open letter will show the government that passing such a ban is a top priority for Canada’s doctors and nurses.

Scientific studies show that people exposed to pesticides are at greater risk for a variety of cancers including non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, brain cancer, prostate cancer, and kidney cancer, among others. Children exposed to pesticides — especially insecticides and herbicides used on lawns and garden — are at increased risk for leukemia.

CAPE and its partners have been campaigning for a B.C. pesticide ban for a number of years. The campaign has included a major advertising effort, in-person meetings with B.C.’s Environment Minister and NDP Leader Adrian Dix, and a massive online initiative which resulted in thousands of pro-ban emails being sent to government. The province will be holding elections in May and polls show the NDP is well ahead of the governing Liberals.

CAPE urges all health professionals — doctors, nurses, therapists, psychologists, and others — to sign the open letter by going online here.

Health professionals from across Canada (not just B.C.) are urged to sign the important letter. Every person who signs — no matter where they live — adds weight to the campaign.


We, the undersigned health professionals, urge the B.C. government to enact a province-wide ban on the use and sale of non-essential pesticides. This ban would prohibit pesticides in such settings as lawns, gardens, parks, and sports fields. Pesticides could only be used to protect public health and commercial agriculture. (sign here)

Gideon Forman is the Executive Director of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment ( For further information email:

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Also in the WINTER 2013 Issue of An Ounce

Published: March 5th, 2013