Does this look like a bunch of pests to you?
Or maybe this?
In August and September 2018, ten new permits were issued for spraying “pesticides”, VisionMax on more than 4,400 acres and WeedMaster on 943 acres. And some of us are having a lot of trouble understanding why, NS Environment continues to use this term, pesticide, to describe the spraying being done in this province.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, pesticides are defined as a substances used for destroying insects or other organisms harmful to cultivated plants or to animals. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary says they are agents used to destroy pests. I looked for their definition of pests, to be thorough.
So these definitions don’t sound like they describe maple or ash, or oak or birch trees to me. Not at all.
But the NS Department of Environment and softwood pulp farmers, as well as NS Power claim the spray used to eradicate these and other species of deciduous trees and shrubs in our forests is a PESTicide. Not a Herbicide, which is how Monsanto labels its forest(ry) product. But according to NSE, they are permitting the use of PESTicides, to destroy PESTS.
While one can easily find fault in the Product label calling itself a “silviculture” herbicide, since its purpose is to create monoculture pulp farms, it is still labelled a herbicide.
MSDS information for the product says the product is a herbicide.
It was suggested to me that NSE prefers the Pesticide characterization for these, because when people are looking for information on the spraying being permitted, they would naturally look up herbicides on the provincial website and not find anything. The media refer to them as herbicides, the forest advocacy groups, the woodlot owners, the corporations making the products, all refer to them by their proper category – herbicides. But our esteemed and all knowing government, uses this term to characterize the work these toxins do, as necessary, and one might believe to prevent detrimental destruction.
Every permit for these chemicals, since 2014 have been published on NSE’s website for the public to review. After the uproar in 2016, over the government’s choice to continue using the product VisionMax, which contains Glyphosate, even after it was deemed a possible carcinogen by the IARC in 2015, the Government started issuing the permits, without naming the product being used. There was a reference to the attached documents for that information, but the attached documents were not published with the permits. As many pointed out, we have a right to know what is being sprayed on the forests, and if it is so safe that our government ignores the thousands of residents who oppose its use, why is it a secret? Now the product details are available in a separate table, that isn’t obvious to visitors to the NSE Website. You need to look for a second link on the page to go to a separate page to take down the information on the permit, that has been removed from the previously complete format.
I would like to point out that two of the permits were issued to Northern Timber, a sister company to Northern Pulp, registered as a stand alone corporation at the NS Registry of Joint Stock Companies, on September 5, 2018. Northern Pulp ran ads in the newspaper stating they would begin spraying on August 25, 2018. Northern Pulp have not been issued a permit to spray this year, and Northern Timber did not publish a public notice of their plan to spray. If we are going to pretend this legally required process failure does not matter, we should take note of the fact at least, that the corporation was so certain they would be issued their permit that they could go ahead and run an ad, issuing a start date that was two weeks before the permits were ever issued.
And please, take a good look at the MSDS Sheets for these chemicals. Weedmaster is a nightmare on paper. It is deadly for aquatic species, and warnings include irreversible eye damage, serious respiratory problems, etc. It requires intensely extensive handling and care instructions.
VisionMax toxicity testing outcomes include results like histopathologic effects (Science dealing with the study of tissue structures changed by disease), effects on offspring only observed with maternal toxicity, decrease of weight gain, decrease of survival, highly or moderately toxic to fish species, and on and on.
Both products list at least 51% of the weight of the product is a mix of secret ingredients.