CHARLOTTETOWN - A federal agency has ordered four
major lawn care and pesticide companies to change the way they
promote their products, after a complaint from an environmental
group in P.E.I.
The Pest Management Regulatory Agency found that the companies
used misleading language in their advertising and promotion.
A P.E.I. group called Earth Action filed a complaint about the
companies last summer, enclosing examples of promotional material
from Bobby Lawn Care, Weed Man and the large multinational firms
Bayer and Syngenta.
"They're saying that their pesticides are safe, that government
has approved them and that they are somehow sanctioned by government
to be safe," said Earth Action spokesperson Sharon Labchuk. "All of
that is illegal in Canada to say in pesticide advertising."
Neil McTiernan, the Atlantic regional manager of the Pest
Management Regulatory Agency, said the companies' promotional
language was misleading.
"To tell someone a product is safe, then they might believe they
don't have to take precautions," said McTiernan, "when in fact if
they read the label they should be."
McTiernan said some of the companies have already complied with
the orders. The agency will be following up to make sure they don't
use words like "safe" or "government approved" in the future.
Derrick Rozdeba, a communications manager for Bayer Crop Science,
said his company has responded to the ruling.
"We are always sensitive to these regulations," said Rozdeba. "So
we take this fairly seriously."
He said Bayer is reviewing all its promotional material to make
sure it isn't breaking the law.
Written by CBC News Online staff