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Pesticide promotions misleading, says agency
Last Updated Mon, 19 Jan 2004 12:51:08

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

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