Is the dreaded dandelion a bigger threat than 2,4-D?

I was really excited to visit family in Red Deer recently. I grabbed a paper to see what’s going on around town. Then I noticed a story about how drastic action was going to be taken to eliminate a serious problem.

I was really excited to visit family in Red Deer recently. I grabbed a paper to see what’s going on around town. Then I noticed a story about how drastic action was going to be taken to eliminate a serious problem.

I read, in horror, how a known carcinogen was going to be sprayed everywhere to get rid of a little yellow flower that was going to be gone in a month anyway.

I did a little of my own research, because something was amiss.

I learned that 2,4-D is a moderately persistent chemical with a half-life between 20 and 200 days.

Unfortunately, the herbicide doesn’t just affect target weeds. It has been shown to cause low growth rates, reproductive problems, changes in appearance or behaviour, and even death in non-target species.

The use of 2,4-D has had drastic affects on both agricultural and wildlife animals. There have been recorded deaths of cattle and horses that grazed on treated plants, as well as the destruction of food sources for moose and other creatures.

Environmental contamination, particularly in wetlands, has been demonstrated.

Research has proven that 2,4-D causes cancer (Littorin, 1994). The pesticide damages immune, reproductive and nervous systems. It disrupts energy production (Zychlinkski & Zolnierowicz, 1990), causes birth defects (Garry et al, 1996), delays in brain development and abnormal behavior patterns (Evangelista de Duffard et al, 1995), etc., etc.

Recent research has revealed that 2,4-D is excreted in breast milk as long as a week after exposure/consumption to impede infant brain development (Sturtz et al, 2000).

This stuff is being sprayed all over Red Deer to kill those dastardly dandelions whose leaves contain more vitamin C by weight than oranges, as well as loads of vitamin A, etc.

You can make wine, salads, even a coffee substitute with these terrifying bright yellow flowered plants. Dratted dandelions feed honey bees, which supply us with honey … but never fear, the 2,4D will make sure they won’t be making honey any time soon, at least in Red Deer.

The spraying is probably good for local business, like hospitals. There was a decline of cancers in Sweden after the banning of phenoxy herbicides (Hardell and Eriksson, 2003).

Legal costs might go up, though. Workers who apply chlorinated phenoxy herbicides often end up with nervous system disorders, skin cancer, and hormonal and internal organ irregularities.

It was good to see family, but I have more reason to worry about them, now.

Chris Burton

Barrie, Ont.

Just Posted

Sport of axe throwing growing in Red Deer

True North Axe Throwing wants sport to be ‘Canadian version of darts’

Optimism remains for Red Deer hospital expansion

Red Deer’s incoming UCP MLAs both have been strong supporters of expansion

RDC cancels championship-winning golf program due to tight finances

Short season, small number of student golfers were also considerations

Fire investigators comb through industrial fire wreckage looking for answers

Industrial building in north Red Deer was completely gutted in Wednesday morning fire

WATCH: An ‘Eggstemely Fun Easter’ at Bower Place in Red Deer

Bower Place mall made sure Red Deer families were able to have… Continue reading

Notre Dame rector: “Computer glitch” possible fire culprit

PARIS — A “computer glitch” may have been behind the fast-spreading fire… Continue reading

Former journalist pleads guilty to robbing two banks in Medicine Hat

MEDICINE HAT, Alta. — A former journalist arrested almost two years ago… Continue reading

Austria fears for three top climbers missing in Banff National Park

BERLIN — Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said Friday his thoughts are with… Continue reading

As Vancouver fights over 4-20, Seattle’s Hempfest enjoys tolerance, some support

VANCOUVER — They both came from humble beginnings: small protests against marijuana… Continue reading

All eyes on the surging Greens as Prince Edward Island goes to the polls

After a brief provincial election campaign devoid of drama, voters on Prince… Continue reading

North Dakota company where 4 were slain seeks normalcy

MANDAN, N.D. — Camaraderie was so important for the “coffee club” at… Continue reading

Trump blasts ex-advisers who say he tried to stop Mueller

WASHINGTON — A day after celebrating the release of the Mueller report… Continue reading

Sanders claims she didn’t lie, despite Mueller finding

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s spokeswoman Sarah Sanders pushed back Friday against… Continue reading

Most Read