The good news: What ever happened to spray drift? We used to get
frequent reports on prosecutions and civil suits relating to damage
caused by spray drift onto trees, gardens, and fields. Now, such
problems seem much less common. Why?
According to an industry insider, it is not because of any lack
of enforcement. (See, for example, the March 2012 conviction of Kenneth Schiestel, who was fined
$20,000 for allowing spray drift onto the nearby individual, who
developed a rash.) Modern spray nozzles have become much more
accurate, I am told, allowing farmers to control their pesticide
sprayed much more accurately. Some pesticides have become less
toxic. Farmers have become more tech savvy than they were in the
early part of my career, and better educated about pesticide risks.
And farmers, pesticide companies, and their insurers learned an
expensive lesson from the fines and compensation awards that spray
drift can trigger. If so, congratulations to them all.
Next, the bad news. We badly need an effective, low toxicity
pesticide to control the epidemic of bed bugs. I've been told
that such pesticides do exist, but that manufacturers are making no
effort to have them made available for sale in Ontario. They say
that it is simply not worth the time, money, and effort necessary
to register and classify a pesticide here.
Maybe that's why customs officers are seeing such a surge in
pesticide imports by laypeople.
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