An Annual General Meeting of CAP-NL will follow the forum with the election of officers facilitated by Sheilagh O’Leary. All Are Welcome to Attend!!!





by scott robinson


Please download our petitions and collect some signatures! These petitions ask the federal and provincial governments to look more closely at pesticide regulations. The petitions will be presented in the House of Commons and the Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly

  Federal Toxic Substances Petition 

Provincial Toxic Substances Petition

Please return to:

Darcie Cohen, CAP-NL Secretary  
 42 Franklyn Avenue   
St. John’s, NL 
A1C 4L1

CAP-NL Position Paper Now Available!

            Thanks to everyone who worked on the paper which can be viewed here with Appendices:



This paper asks government to change their current legislation and rules on pesticides and other toxic substances in Newfoundland and Labrador.




Western Star, July 2, 2014

Letter to the Editor

Fracking: Decisions must be based on more than money

Updated at 03:32 – Dear Editor: I refer the letter to the editor on June 9, from Sharon McLennon, first vice-president and chair, Oil and Gas Committee, Greater Corner Brook Board of Trade..

The board of trade vice-president stated that the completion of the CNLOPB Strategic Environmental Assessment report  “is an important milestone in the industry’s development” and that “science-based decision-making” is part of the “key pillars of our policy on responsible economic development.”

The Newfoundland and Labrador Fracking Awareness Network, along with 20 other organizations and sectors, including fisheries, tourism, religious groups and the Newfoundland and Labrador College of Family Physicians also strongly advocate for a comprehensive, science-based review.

But we insist this to be independent and including a health-impact assessment of hydraulic fracturing and other associated technologies associated with unconventional oil exploration and extraction. And so it seems that everyone wants scientific information, but when it becomes available, it is being ignored.

The Council of Canadian Academies was mandated by the federal minister of Environment to assemble an expert panel to assess the scientific state of knowledge about the impacts of shale gas petroleum exploration extraction using hydraulic fracturing in Canada.

The council is a not-for-profit organization that supports independent, science-based, authoritative expert assessments. The report notes that few peer-reviewed articles on the environmental impacts of shale gas development have been published. They stress that society’s understanding of the potential environmental impacts has not kept pace with development, resulting in gaps in scientific knowledge about these impacts.

The expert panel also states that the health and social impacts of shale gas development have not been well studied.

The council notes that there can be advantages in “go-slow” approaches to allow for additional data collection, to permit adaptation to the implications of new information and to encourage integration of multidisciplinary expertise.

That’s good advice to the parties, but so far, the report seems to be ignored by both federal and provincial governments, the CNLOPB and the board of trade.

If you want the science everyone seems to be talking about … read it.

It is available at:

And when you are done, let us make a decision together as a region.

The CNLOPB has conflicting roles for petroleum industry development, worker safety and environmental health. Its predominant focus is on oil and gas exploration and development. They are losing credibility and legitimacy with the general public. The CNLOPB conducts strategic environmental assessments to supposedly determine if it is appropriate to proceed with oil and gas development in Newfoundland’s gulf waters and, at the same time, it is allowing seismic testing, issuing licences, making land ownership and control agreements with oil companies and otherwise facilitating oil and gas exploration and development. I believe a regulator should not be a facilitator at the same time. There should be a separate independent regulatory agency for worker safety and environmental protection as recommended by Judge Robert Wells.

We feel that the support expressed publically by the board of trade as being “a significant opportunity for quality of life in the greater Corner Brook area and western Newfoundland” is premature. Fracking operations in other parts of North America have turned regions into highly industrialized zones. If “quality of life” is merely measured in financial terms, Ms. McLennon might have a point, but surely those of us who chose to live here are appreciating our region for far more than mere dollars in our pockets.

Energy projects like the proposed wind farm are a far better fit for the region and would also create economic growth and really show leadership on the world stage.

Simon Jansen, Newfoundland and Labrador Fracking Awareness Network, Corner Brook

VOCM Question of the Day for Monday, June 9, 2014:

“Do you think the province should ban Tordon 101? Why or Why not?”

Vote Now!


Provincial Day of Action on Tordon 101!

 Community Garden next  to the Lions Club, 2 Woodland Avenue, Stephenville, starting at 10 am, Saturday, June 7th. There will be information and petitions regarding Tordon 101 available for signing and distribution.




The Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides NL, Friends of Grand River-Mistashipu, and the Social Justice Cooperative NL have organized a “Provincial Day of Action on Tordon 101,” Saturday June 7, in communities throughout the province. For details on how to participate in your community and information on Tordon 101, visit

Other Public meetings and rallies:


St. John’s, 1pm, Colonial Building/Bannerman Park, Military Rd.

Happy Valley-Goose Bay, 3pm, Leon Cooper Memorial Park, Grenfell St.

The Provincial Day of Action aims to raise awareness on the use of the dangerous pesticide Tordon 101 in the provincial government’s road-side spray program and on the proposed 1,100km Labrador-island transmission link as part of the Muskrat Falls project.

The Day of Action will consist of public meetings in various communities and a door-to-door signature drive, the initial steps of an ambitious goal to gather 15,000 signatures on a petition to ban Tordon 101 in the province.

Individuals and groups wishing to organize in support of the day of action, please get in touch with us by posting / commenting on this event page or through the campaign website. You can find an copy of the petition for printing and a handout, Five Reasons to Ban Tordon 101,

All are welcome and encouraged to attend!







Newfoundland and Labrador Wildlife Federation President Ward Samson discusses Spruce Budworm


Please check out this link to a commentary by Ward Samson on Spruce Budworm called “Pesticide Applicability

Public Forum May 13, 2014 7:00 – 9:00 pm
St Theresa’s Parish Hall, 120 Mundy Pond Rd, St John’s, NL


6:30pm Meet and Greet at Hall /set up for public meeting.

7:00pm Host – Greg Malone. Introduces Speakers. Overview of CAP-NL, pesticide use and why we in NL should be concerned about our toxic load.

7:10pm 1st speaker, Pesticides – Dr. Atanu Sarkar, MB BS, MCH, Ph.D , MES, Faculty of Medicine, MUN. Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health.

7:20pm 2nd speaker, Toxic Chemicals – Dr. Cora Young, B.Sc., Ph.D., Dept. Chemistry, MUN..

7:30pm Comments, questions from audience and forum discussion regarding how to better protect the health of families, communities and the environment from toxic substances.

8:20pm Closing remarks – Kenny Mutchie Bennett, First Nations Cultural Leader

8:30 – 9:00 CAP-NL AGM. New members welcome.

NOTE: There are at the Forum:
– Petitions to sign, as well as petitions available to anyone who wants to collect more signatures.
– A CAP NL Position Paper will be available to read. Also available on website.
– Info sheet of email addresses and telephone numbers for Ministers of Environment and Health, MHAs and the local call-in radio shows.

MEDIA RELEASEMay 5, 2014A Public Forum: Impacts of Pesticides and other Toxic Substances on Human Health and the Environment:
7:00 pm, Tuesday, May 13, 2014
St Theresa’s Parish Hall, 120 Mundy Pond Road The Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides (CAP-NL)
will be hosting a Public Forum on the health and environmental effects of
pesticides on Tuesday evening, May 13 starting at 7:00 pm at St Theresa’s
Parish Hall, 120 Mundy Pond Road.  CAP-NL is a provincial coalition of health
and environmental organizations and citizens.Their mandate is to defend basic rights to health and environmental
quality and to eliminate the use of toxic substances such as pesticides
and replace them with ecologically sound alternatives.The Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides-NL has been
advocating for changes in pesticide legislation, for a ban on non-essential
pesticides that are shown to be harmful to people and the
environment, and for a “white” list of safe acceptable
products and for protective legislation comparable
to that in Nova Scotia and Ontario.The Forum to be chaired by Greg Malone will feature presentations
on pesticides and toxic substances by Dr. Atanu Sarkar and Dr. Cora Young.
There will be opportunities for public engagement – comments and questions
following the presentations.Dr. Sarkar is Asst. Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health,
with the Memorial University Faculty of Medicine and
Dr. Cora Young is Asst. Professor MUN Chemistry Department specializing
in Environmental Chemistry.CAP-NL is not only concerned about the cosmetic
use of pesticides on lawns but also the highway use
of Tordon 101 herbicide and other toxic substances to
which the public is exposed including polyaromatic hydrocarbons,
plasticizers, flame retardants, non-stick chemicals, pharmaceuticals,
dioxins, polychlorinated biphenyls and chlorinated solvents.
CAP-NL advocates new legislation, regulations and enforcement
which is required to safeguard public
and environmental health from exposure to these toxic substances.For Further Information please contact:
Dr Frank Smith (
726- 5232 or Greg Malone

The Status of the Pesticide Ban in Newfoundland and Labrador:

“NL pesticide ban:  Healthy policy or crass politics?”

Commentary by Mario Levesque

Environmental Policy Institute

Grenfell Campus, Memorial University

Good policy or good politics?  That is the question we should be asking ourselves after Newfoundland and Labrador recently banned the cosmetic use of a limited number of lawn pesticides—products used to control such things as weeds and insects.  Some questions immediately came up in my mind:

  • Why announce a limited ban now?
  • Why these chemicals?

The answer to the first question is largely politics.  With a provincial election set for October 2011, the incumbent Progressive Conservatives can get some political mileage out of the ban.  They are seen as responding to the public’s wishes in that they show concern about our health and at the same time they take away an important environmental plank from their rival NDP party.  I am not so sure the public will buy the government’s new found interest in their health given it had consistently ignored calls for a pesticide ban for years.  Moreover, the NDP and other political parties are not decimated by the announcement either given the limited nature of the ban—only five lawn chemicals were banned.  They can and should advocate for a wider ban for chemicals used in and around the home.

And, therein lays the crux.  Only five chemicals were banned as shown in Table 1 below which also shows their acute toxicity levels—LD50 values.  In other words, long term health effects such as reproductive abnormalities and cancers are not reflected in LD50 values; rather, LD50—Lethal Dose 50—is a value that represents the amount of chemical required to kill 50% of an animal test population when given to them either orally (ingested via the mouth) or dermally (skin contamination).  It specifically is a measure of the active ingredient only and does not take into consideration other chemicals as part of a mixture or additives such as wetting agents (chemicals added to mixtures to increase the spread and absorption of active ingredients).  Were these added chemicals and wetting agents to be considered, chemical toxicity may increase  significantly.

Animals commonly used in LD50 tests are rats, rabbits, dogs, birds or fish to name a few.   LD50 is expressed in milligrams of pesticide per kilogram of body weight of the test animal (mg/kg) (for birds and fish, the Lethal Concentration 50 is used which measures the part per million (ppm) concentration per 24 hour period in either the water or air that kills 50% of the fish or birds).  The important point to note is that the derived value gives us a measure of the acute toxicity of a chemical.  A lower LD50 (or LC50) value is highly toxic (less chemical used to kill 50% of the population) and a higher LD50 value is less toxic (more chemical needed to kill 50% of the population).  For humans, an LD50 value of 0-50 is highly toxic; an LD50 value of 50-500 is of medium toxicity; an LD value of 500-2500 is of low toxicity; and, an LD50 value greater than 2500 is of very low toxicity.

Of the chemicals banned by the Newfoundland and Labrador government (see Table 1), two are of medium oral toxicity (carbaryl, 2, 4-D) with the rest being of low oral toxicity.  Dermally speaking, all are of either low or very low toxicity.

As a comparison, I have also listed DDT which has been banned in Canada since 1985 with existing stocks sold, used or disposed of by 1991 (almost 30 years after Rachel Carson’s groundbreaking book Silent Spring which documented the deleterious effects of pesticides (DDT) on birds!).  Indeed, we were right to ban DDT given its LD50 value of 113 (oral).  But, then, why do we continue to justify the use of warfarin, malathion, ferbam, imidacloprid and Ficam which are of equal toxicity or in most cases, more toxic than the banned ones (see Table 1)?  Banning these chemicals is perhaps long overdue!

Moreover, while the current government needs to be commended for its limited pesticide ban, it nonetheless needs to be extended to all sports fields including ball fields, soccer pitches and golf courses.  These are all areas where our children (and ourselves) spend large amounts of time in various recreational activities.  Alternatives such as Integrated or Sustainable Pest Management practices are readily available and in use elsewhere to control insects and weeds.   Perhaps this is where the opposition parties can differentiate themselves in the upcoming election with an aggressive, encompassing and healthy strategy for the people of the province.

Our governments can do better!  Public health demands as much.  The question is: How will our officials respond to this challenge in the upcoming fall election? Moreover, what will we, the public, demand of them?

Table 1: LD50 values for select pesticides*


Common Name                     Trade Name                           LD50 (mg/kg)

                                                                                    oral                             dermal


Lawn chemicals banned by Newfoundland

carbaryl                                   Sevin                           400-850                       >4000

2,4-D (2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid)                     300-1000                     800-1500

mecoprop                                Compitox                    930                              900

dicamba                                   Banvel                         1040                            >1000

MCPA (2-methyl-4-chlorophenoxyacetic acid)          700-1000                     >1000

DDT    (banned since 1985 in Canada)                       113                              25

rotenone (banned as of 31 December 2012)               132                              940


Other chemicals – herbicides (weed/vegetation killers)

glyphosphate                           Roundup                     4320                            >7940


Other chemicals – insecticides/rodenticides (insect/rodent killers)

N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide       DEET                          2000                            2-5000

metaldehyde                           slug/snail bait              600

warfarin                                   rat bait                         58

pyrethrins                                                                    >1800                          >1800

ferbam                                                                         1000                            1000

malathion                                Cythion                       1375                            >4400

imidacloprid                            Merit                           380-500a                      >5000 a

cyfluthrin                                Bug Be Gone              869-1271b                    >5000 b

bendiocarb                              Ficam                          40                                566

*Source: Ontario Ministry of the Environment. 1981. Pesticides Safety Handbook. Pesticides Control Section.

a Gervais, J. A., Luukinen, B., Buhl, K., & Stone, D. 2010. Imidacloprid Technical Fact Sheet; National Pesticide

Information Center, Oregon State University Extension Services.

bCornell University. Extension Toxicology Network. n.d. Cyfluthrin. Cornell University.



July 14, 2011 was a big day for the Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides:



On May 10, 2010, the Progressive Conservative Minister of Environment, Ms. Charlene Johnson, told the Telegram that in response to the question of whether or not to ban cosmetic pesticides in Newfoundland and Labrador, “There’s a lot of work going on,” and “”It’s something that’s getting high priority in the department, and it is up for consideration.”. The article by Steve Bartlett went on to say that:   “Johnson explains a U.S. company is challenging a Canadian pesticide ban in court and that she’d like details from the case before making her decision. “I don’t want us to end up in a lawsuit”.

It is now over 13 months Since Ms. Johnson made her statement. The NAFTA court challenge was recently settled; the province of Quebec was allowed to uphold their 2003 cosmetic pesticide ban, and the chemical corporation, Dow AgroSciences was awarded no monetary compensation. The David Suzuki Foundation stated this is an important signal to other provinces.

In February 2011, shortly after CAP-NL held a public forum on the proposed pesticide ban, the current Minister of Environment Ross Wiseman told the CBC: “I don’t want to put a day or a week on it, but I appreciate the length of time this has been in the public domain and discussed,”…”I appreciate too that there’s an upcoming summer a time when these pesticides are used.” …He said he hopes to bring forward a recommendation to cabinet in the very near future.”

The Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticide-Newfoundland and Labrador (CAP-NL) asks the current Progressive Conservative Minister of Environment Ross Wiseman what he will do in response to the good news from Quebec. CAP-NL urges his department to ban cosmetic pesticides such as 2,4-D as soon as possible, or risk being the embarrassment of being last place in Canada without such a ban as well as the health and safety of adults, pets and children. There are cosmetic pesticide bans in Quebec, Ontario, P.E.I, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and many municipalities in B.C. Please see the articles “Groups Renew Call for NL Pesticide Ban”.


“What’s Best to Decide on Pesticide?”



Dow Chemical vs. Quebec

In 2008, DowAgroSciences, an American  pesticide manufacturer, challenged the Government of Canada under the North American Free Trade Agreement for allowing the province of Quebec to ban a popular herbicide called 2,4-D. The corporation stated the prohibition violated Chapter 11 of NAFTA. It asked for $2 million in “damages” or lost revenues. Three years later, the verdict is in and it holds great promise for the rest of Canada. Quebec is allowed to uphold its pesticide ban and the corporation was awarded no financial compensation. However as part of the settlement, the government of Quebec had to issue a statement saying the province agreed with Health Canada: that the product was safe when used according to the label directions. Currently, five provinces have non-essential pesticide bans in place, and The Christy Clark government in British Columbia is also committed to joining them. It seems that Newfoundland and Labrador may be the last place in Canada to take this crucial step to protect people from unnecessary chemical exposure.

At least we now know a province has the right to ban a harmful chemical and that corporations will knowingly waste hundreds of thousands of dollars by challenging this right in court. On hearing the results the Federal Trade minister said the case proves governments have the right to allow or ban any products they want, regardless of which country manufactures them.

Vote for your health and the Environment 

We need your help this 2011 provincial election 

Four out of every five Canadians are protected by either municipal or provincial legislation that bans the sale and use of cosmetic pesticides. 

NL is the only province in Atlantic Canada without a ban on cosmetic pesticides. 

To ensure that we protect the health of our province and its citizens we need to send a strong message to all the members of the NL House of Assembly.

Please write to and let the public know that this Fall you will be voting for the party that is prepared to take a stand for NL Health and ban cosmetic pesticides


to watch the forum on Youtube click here

The Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides- Newfoundland and Labrador (CAP-NL) hopes you will support a province wide ban on cosmetic pesticide use in Newfoundland and Labrador. Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, P.E.I., Nova Scotia and dozens of municipalities in Canada have banned lawn care pesticides but our provincial government still permits their sale and use. Known to cause childhood cancers, ADHD, reproductive and neurological problems,  pesticides pose a risk to health that far outweighs the look of a nice lawn. Even if you do not use pesticides, your neighbour or landlord may be doing so and the government of Newfoundland and Labrador requires that only residents in a 15 meter radius be notified when spraying will occur! There are many organic lawn care methods that are easy to implement and do not involve large amounts of chemicals entering the air and water. Please click on the link to sign a petition that will be delivered to the Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly
photo credit: Vince Alonghi
Public Forum poster download

14 responses to “

  1. This is long past due. I applaud your actions and you can count me in to support you in any way I can.

  2. I cannot understand why the Gov. of Nfld. and Lab. has not passed
    legislation to ban the use of all pesticides. The terrible risk to our health, especially our children, should never have been allowed.
    We beseech the Environment Minister to take action immediately.


    about time this law pass.

  4. What is wrong with the Progressive Conservative party!
    There is nothing progressive about their stubbornness and ignorance on this long-standing issue.
    People should be more important than profits!

  5. I’m in full support of this ban for myself, my children and even for my dogs — all of whom seemed to end up with horrible throat tumours that I suspect may be linked to frolicking on sprayed lawns.

  6. Julie Huntington

    Keep working hard on this. We must protect our health by ensuring only those things that will not harm us and other creatures are put on our lawns. I am 100% behind this long overdue ban in NL

  7. I’m a bit confused… Is Roundup’s – Glyphosate not on the list to be banned or is it on the list?

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