Thirteen years after the pesticide Lorsban sickened a Manitoba family, Health Canada is proposing it be severely restricted in Canada. The European Union will ban it in the new year. by Larry Powell
In the fall of 2006, Loyd Burghart told his story to "Planet in Peril." Burghart, a livestock farmer in the Swan Valley of western Manitoba, said he, his wife, Donna and their four children inhaled fumes from the chemical, Lorsban (chlorpyrifos) which a neighbour had been sparing on a nearby crop. (Many farmers in that part of the province had done the same that year, in an effort to control a severe infestation of Bertha Army worms.)
|Some time after the incident, Burghart, his wife |
and one of their children, pose by a mother sow and
piglets in their yard. A PinP photo.
The spray had left Burghart's entire family with severe symptoms. He says he, himself, was left writhing with severe pain in his eyes.
It's not immediately known how many other Canadians have suffered in similar incidents. But it's hard to believe this was the only case. (Burghart was also worried how the chemical might impact the health of his animals and their feed.)
Health Canada announced recently it will propose that Lorsban be banned for "almost all agricultural uses." It will still be allowed for things like mosquito control. The pesticide has been linked to developmental problems in humans.
And, it has just been announced that the European Union will ban it next year, as well.
Lorsban is described as a "broad spectrum insecticide," used to control bugs in cereals, oilseeds, grains, fruits and vegetables.