Friday, May 2, 2008
Canada has been pushing the bar this month with announcements proving its strong stance in protecting the public from hazardous substances. Last Friday, Canada issued a ban on BPA and this week a new law banning lawn chemicals is forcing the Canadian division of Home Depot to stop selling traditional pesticides in stores across Canada by end of 2008. In the mean time, the stores will increase its selection of environmentally friendly alternatives.
The decision coincides with legislation introduced on April 23, which bans the sale and cosmetic use of pesticides on lawns, gardens and parks in the Canadian province of Ontario. Quebec passed a similar ban in 2003. Additionally, there are currently over 55 municipalities in Canada where the residential use, but not sale, of pesticides is banned. Other garden supply and grocery stores have also stopped selling pesticides in Ontario and Quebec, but the Home Depot decision will affect stores nationwide.
Environmental and public health activists believe the provincial bans and Home Depot phase-outs demonstrate that the country has reached a tipping point. “I would say that now that we have Quebec and Ontario, there is huge pressure on the other provinces. The next obvious one would be British Columbia.” Gideon Forman, executive director of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment told the Canadian newspaper Globe and Mail. “In terms of a cost-benefit analysis [of pesticide products], there is zero health benefit and the potential risk is enormous.”
In the meantime, the United States division of Home Depot has no plans to phase out the same product lines, while delivering a very humane and earth friendly rhetoric to the press,
“Like our customers, we, at the Home Depot, are concerned about the environment,” said Annette Verschuren, president of the Home Depot Canada and Asia. “We are going above and beyond government regulations by working with our suppliers to develop pesticide alternatives that are environmentally friendly and produce excellent results on lawns and gardens.”
Clearly, in the eyes of Home Depot, toxic pesticides are only dangerous to Canadians and the Canadian soil, with laws that protect them. For the rest of us super humans worldwide without policy protecting our health, toxic pesticides are benign. Thanks guys. Would love to hear how your CSR folks would position this one.
To Speak Up on the Issue and Take Action:
Tell Home Depot that U.S. residents deserve the same healthy communities as Canada. Demand that the company expand its Canadian decision to include all stores in the U.S. and around the globe.
Home Depot Headquarters, Brad Shaw, Sr. Vice President - Corporate Communications and External Affairs, Chairman - Home Depot Environmental Council, 2455 Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta, GA 30339, 770-433-8211 (phone), 770-384-4211 (fax).
(Via The Sudbury Star & Beyond Pesticides)