Dear editor: I work for the company that makes Fiesta. After reading Joan Bruder’s letter to the editor titled “City should lead by example” (Tribune, June 12) where she calls Fiesta a toxic pesticide, I felt the need to respond.
Fiesta is far from toxic. Fiesta is an iron chelate, and it is the iron that kills weeds in lawns. Iron chelates are routinely used to correct iron deficiency in crop plants and some are used in iron supplements for humans. So there is little risk to our health from Fiesta.
It is because Fiesta is a very low-risk product in terms of the risk it poses to people, pets, wildlife and the environment that the Ontario government allows it to be used for the control of weeds in urban areas.
Bruder suggested using salt water or vinegar to control weeds, but Fiesta is less toxic than these alternatives. I am, however, surprised to hear that Fiesta may have been used to treat weeds in cracks and crevices. Cracks and crevices are best treated with non-selective weed killers such as herbicidal soaps or horticultural vinegars. Fiesta is best used in lawns to help manage broad-leaved weeds while not harming the grass.
In my view the city is leading by example and is being responsible by applying approved, regulated, low-risk products such as Fiesta and letting us know where it was applied with the appropriate signage.