Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Organic Golf Course Good Enough for Obama

While on his vacation this week, US President Barack Obama played a round of golf at the Vineyard Golf Club in Edgartown, MA. The Vineyard Golf Club is believed to be the only 100% organic golf course in the United States. Despite using only natural means of turf maintenance, the club manages to maintain elite status and attract pro golfers and celebrities alike.

Many in the golfing industry believe that synthetic pesticides are required to ensure pristine greens, but the Vineyard Golf Club is demonstrating how healthy greens can be maintained using alternative methods. They use comprehensive turf management practices including planting more disease resistant grass, using boiling water for weed control, and using microscopic worms to kill turf destroying grubs.

Golf clubs around North America are beginning to adopt more natural turf management practices and reduce the amount of chemicals they are spraying on their greens. You would be surprised to know that, yard for yard, many spray less chemicals than your neighbor! We can do our part by encouraging our local golf course owners to consider phasing-in more organic turf management practices. Talk to a manager at the courses where you golf to learn more about their turf management policies.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Navigating the Report Form

We've had some feedback that Health Canada's Voluntary Pesticide Incident Report Form is not very user friendly. If you have tried to file a report through this system, please let us know your experience with the process.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Reporting negative effects of pesticides

The Canadian government currently welcomes voluntary reports of negative human, animal or environmental effects due to contact with pesticides. These voluntary reports are added to a database used by the government to determine trends and make decisions about product registration. Reporting "incidences" is an important way to ensure that the government is making informed decisions. Please fill out a report form if you have an incident to report.

The Pesticide Incident Reporting Database is posted online and lists all voluntarily reported pesticide incidences. Manufacturer's are also required to report any incidences that they have been made aware of through customer complaints.

The government's incidence reporting program was implemented in April 2007. During the program's first two years, 1393 incidences have been reported in Canada. These include:

- 526 incidences involving domestic animals
- 217 incidences involving humans
- 47 incidences involving the environment
- 23 packaging failures
- 9 cases highlighting new information gained through scientific studies