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City should lead by example

I’m wondering if someone at city hall can tell me why the whole of downtown Guelph was sprayed with the toxic pesticide Fiesta.
I thought the use of pesticides for cosmetic purposes was now illegal in Ontario.
For years now, city hall has been urging Guelphites to garden ‘naturally’ and organically. I applaud that initiative.
However, shouldn’t city hall be the role model for this behaviour? Why were hundreds of shoppers and many toddlers and children unnecessarily exposed to pesticide drift?
Every single sidewalk crack and crevice had been sprayed – couldn’t the weeds have been killed with vinegar or salt water? One summer student could likely have dug out these few stray weeds in less than a day.
I’d like to send a clear message to the city: follow the gardening guidelines that you have written and stop putting residents’ health at risk by exposing us to chemicals.
Joan Bruder
Guelph

One Response to “City should lead by example”

  1. Tim Tripp says:

    I work for the manufacturer of Fiesta and I feel the need to point out that Fiesta is less toxic than vinegar and salt that the writer suggests as alternatives. It is because Fiesta is a very low risk product that the Ontario government allows it to be used for the control of weeds in urban areas. Fiesta is an iron chelate and relies on iron to kill weeds in lawns. Iron chelates are routinely used to correct iron deficiency in crops plants and are used in iron supplements for humans. So there is little health risk with Fiesta. I am surprised that the writer said that Fiesta was 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. In my view the city is being responsible applying approved, regulated products and letting us know they were applied with the appropriate signage.
    Tim Tripp
    Guelph

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