Empowering Communities, Advocating Solutions


Source: The Buffalo News

Letter to the editor: Eliminating pesticides brings many benefits

Posted: May 4, 2010
Originally Published: May 2, 2010

The April 21 Another Voice, “Pesticide- banning legislation ignores real benefits,” by David Little of the New York State School Boards Association begs me to ask:Who do you represent, our children, or chemical companies?

In a deplorable article riddled with inaccurate statements, a commonsense piece of legislation to protect our children’s health by eliminating toxic pesticides on playing fields and playgrounds at our kindergarten to grade 12 schools was wildly mischaracterized.

The fact is that by eliminating pesticides, schools can effectively manage lawns while saving money. Studies show that after the first two years, schools save 7 percent to 25 percent annually by not purchasing toxic chemicals. The bill wisely provides a clear process to allow rapid response for pesticide applications to address any emerging emergency situation.

The writer asserts that we should trust the opinions of local school officials. This is true, however, parents should also trust the overwhelming peer-reviewed scientific evidence, which has drawn links between toxic pesticide exposure and respiratory problems and cancer. Science tells us that poisoning our school yards is no longer an acceptable policy and we need to change. The Senate passed the bill with bipartisan support, and so should the Assembly.

William Cooke

Director of Government Relations Citizens Campaign for the Environment