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Health Canada, the Canadian agency in charge of pesticide regulation, made a bold move this week, announcing the phaseout of all pesticide and fertilizer combination products by December 2012. The Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) said that the decision comes because "fertilizer-pesticide combination products for lawn and turf uses do not support the goals of best practices for pest management in turf." While more than half of Canada has already banned weed-n-feed type products, this is the first significant federal action on the issue. To avoid conflicts with the pesticide industry, the PMRA's decision focuses on turf care practices, rather than environmental or health concerns about pesticides. It does, however, articulate important principles on pesticide use, stating that: "Pesticides should only be used when and where there is a need." It also cautions against broadcast application of pesticides and advocates for well-timed spot treatment instead. In the U.S., the most common herbicide found in pesticide and fertilizer combination products is dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, or 2,4-D. According to the LA Times, Americans apply approximately 27 million pounds of the chemical to their lawns and parks each year. Paul Tukey of the SafeLawns Foundation writes, "What a great step in the right direction. The vast majority of lawn and garden pesticides are applied in combination with fertilizers; this action will significantly reduce the amount of contamination to the environment."

   WB01343_.gif (599 bytes) Pesticide and Environmental Update

Canada ends "weed-n-feed" Products



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