Elected Officials: Vote Safety Over Partisanship

Sourced from the Canon City Daily Record. Written by John Coyle.

During the summer, thousands of small businesses in Colorado, including my own, were able to safely operate, pay their staff, and keep their lights on because we had access to the right tools and expert guidance on the most effective use of those tools. Those tools, implemented and managed using the best available science, were a lifeline. They always have been, but their importance is highlighted now more than ever. As a collection, they bare a name shrouded in a complicated mix of misinformation, rigorous government oversight and vital importance; pesticides.

Over the years, we have all had to learn how to properly sanitize our working surfaces to kill harmful bacteria and trusted trained and licensed professionals to control unwanted pests be they animals, weeds or insects from damaging our products, ourselves and our environment. Ever present, this year put particular spotlight on the suite of pesticide products used to accomplish this goal and they have never been more important.

I know that many folks in the statehouse and the public have questioned the safety of these tools, but every product is rigorously tested from its conception to its availability as a consumer product. Furthermore, their use is strictly controlled through various legislation be it the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) or Colorado’s own Pesticide Applicators Act (PAA). The pesticide development process is a very similar process to the one we, as a society, use to discover and test new drug therapies. Products conceived in a laboratory, tested in the field and confirmed by Federal, State, and, at times, local governments to be safe and effective when used under the directions of the label. In this regard, the scientific method provides an unbiased, apolitical and relentless process to ensure products meet all safety and efficacy standards necessary to conduct ethically driven business in the realm of pest management or simply to be used at home.

I know because, as a business owner and scientist, I want to make sure my customers are safe, their animals are safe and their weeds are dead. Just as important, I want to make sure my employees and I can come to work without concern for their own health and safety. Untested, unlicensed and reckless pesticide application is the antithesis of what I do and nobody wants more than I do to ensure that such activities are stamped out for good. All to say: meeting the standards set by my industry and the government for safe and efficacious use of pesticides is something I take very seriously. I don’t take for granted that the tools I use are tested, regulated, and approved by industry experts.

We need to put the health of Colorado’s wildlife, environment and most of all our people first. My friends, family, and neighbors depend on these tools to help keep their businesses open, their land productive and homes safe. Just like every other member of our community, I have a vested interest in the continued health and safety of Coloradans. The priority right now must be advocating for the science-driven approaches that vitally include safe pesticide use to ensure our continued success in combating viruses and ensuring a safe and sustainable food supply.

John Coyle,
Owner Ark Valley Weed Management and Consulting, LLC

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