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Opinion

February 7, 2013

Special interests in Norman

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

Washington, D.C., is hardly the only place in our United States where public welfare is defeated by lobbyists for special interests. We have something similar in Norman, Okla.

For example, several months ago, it was proposed to Norman’s Environmental Control and Advisory Board that there be a ban on the use of herbicides for cosmetic purposes on lawns.

The proposal was well received by the board, but even as the water in Lake Thunderbird has deteriorated, no ban has been put in place.

This is not the case in most of Canada, where, for example, Ontario’s cosmetic pesticides ban took effect in 2009, and similar bans exist elsewhere in Canada.

A statement from the government of Ontario says, “The ban is part of the McGuinty government’s toxic reduction strategy to reduce pollution and protect families from toxic chemicals.”

Non-toxic substitutes to use of chemicals that harm humans, pets and wildlife exist and are allowed.

But in Norman, Okla., and elsewhere in our country, special interests prevail, and the health and welfare of the public has taken second place.

One practice that should be banned involves use of 2, 4-D on lawns to kill weeds. Corn gluten is an effective substitute and costs about the same. Another is to mow the grass regularly and to tolerate a few weeds.

EDWIN KESSLER

Norman

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