Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Can Canada's ag community stand by and watch?

OTTAWA, CANADA- Author and Ottawa Citizen columnist Dan Gardner was the guest speaker Wed., Dec. 3, at a national agricultural conference co-hosted by CropLife Canada and the Grain Growers of Canada.

Gardner, author of Risk: The Science and Politics of Fear, will talk about why - at a time when the world population is the healthiest and safest it has ever been - people worry about things they don't need to worry about and don't worry about the things they ought to. He will also talk about how that applies to chemicals and the huge gap between what chemical experts know and what the average person worries about.

"Mr. Gardner's book is very thought-provoking. As an industry that has been under attack recently, we thought our audience would be interested in hearing more about how fear can drive people to behave in ways that really don't make sense," Dr. Lorne Hepworth president of CropLife Canada said.

Following this year's keynote address, CropLife Canada will be commenting on draft regulations to ban the sale and use of some pesticides in Ontario. The association is highly critical of the government for failing to articulate scientific criteria, arguing that citizens are safer with science-based regulations.

"The agricultural community cannot stand by quietly as the Government of Ontario ignores the fact that these products are rigorously reviewed to ensure they will not harm people, animals or the environment before they are permitted for sale. It's a dangerous precedent that could have dire consequences for agriculture because it contributes to heighten and unmerited perceptions of risk."

CropLife Canada is the trade association representing the manufacturers, developers and distributors of plant science innovations - pest control products and plant biotechnology - for use in agriculture, urban and public health settings.

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