Caring for and Healing the Earth

Pesticides, Poisons and Health Issues

Pesticide Policy of the Kitchener-Waterloo Field Naturalists Club (KWFN)
(from The Heron Dec 2000)
Julie Liptak, Conservation Director

New KWFN Policy

At the November Directors’ meeting the following policy was unanimously accepted:

"It is KWFN policy to not use pesticides on any club property or during any club activities."

This decision does not preclude any club member from participating as individuals in activities where pesticides may be used. We are aware that it is considered acceptable by some people to use certain pesticides such as Roundup (glyphosate) during restoration work.

Many people consider glyphosates to be safe to the environment, to humans, and to animals. A lawn “care” specialist once told me that if my dog drank a bowl of Roundup she would suffer no ill effects. I thought maybe he should try it himself first. 

Glyphosate is a broad-spectrum herbicide usually mixed with formulants (POEA), something that helps the product penetrate the plant. Previously thought to be inert substances, many formulants are now known to be as toxic or even more toxic than the weed-killer itself. Glyphosates are known to be poisonous to animals, including humans, and when combined with a formulant, the result becomes very toxic. 

In the past, glyphosates were thought to break down into harmless substances within a couple of days after application. Many lawn “care” employees are still repeating this fallacy. Studies now show that the half-life of glyphosates can be up to two and one-half years. Other studies may show otherwise, particularly those funded by the chemical corporations, but if there were any question at all about a product’s toxicity to humans, animals, or the environment, why would anyone want to take a chance? Does anyone have the right to impose this risk on the environment? 

In my opinion there is enough evidence to suggest that Roundup use poses an unacceptable risk to all life forms and to the environment. We, as responsible stewards of the Earth, have a moral responsibility to take as good care of the Earth as we do our own bodies. Would you drink Roundup?

  • Pesticides Kill. That’s why they work. (Environment Canada)

  • 67 million birds die each year due to the direct ingestion of pesticides.

  • Pesticides reduce the amount of food available to birds, and contribute directly to habitat loss.

  • Pesticides sprayed on sidewalks and other paved areas can be washed into the sewer systems and flow directly into our streams and rivers. 

Note: Glyphosate = Roundup

Julie Liptak
Conservation Director
Kitchener-Waterloo Field Naturalists


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