Dear Editor:

I wanted to respond to a letter last week written by Doug Tyson regarding this issue of Mecoprop being used in our community.

There was some interesting information presented in his letter that left me feeling more alarmed than ever before. To know that this chemical treatment being applied to our weeds is tested on animals, causing death to half (the animals) and likely severe problems and prolonged suffering to the rest, makes me wish such products were never invented or certainly not used because some people dont like a few unsightly dandelions (or other weeds growing amongst their grass).

To quote author Robert Fulghum: Dandelions are everywhere and dont need us and kind of do what they please. So we call them weeds, and murder them at every opportunity. Well, I say they are flowers, and pretty fine flowers at that. And I am honoured to have them in my yard, where I want them. Besides, in addition to every other good thing about them (including the fact that bees favour them and the result is high-class honey), they are magic. You can blow their seeds off the stem and make a wish, or twine them nicely into a wreath for your friends hair. I defy my neighbour to show me anything in his yard that compares with dandelions.

Our town is so innovative and forward-thinking that surely we could come up with a more natural way to reduce weeds and help put an end to chemical testing on animals.

I am also still not convinced that these animal-killing chemicals are as friendly as you make them out to be, Doug. Anything that can be sprayed once and have such a lasting impact to kill the weed for most of the season surely has to stick around for a while. And although, as you state, it requires very high doses of Mecoprop to kill the animals they test on, doesnt the accumulation of chemicals used by various people throughout the valley, region, province and country all leach into the same soil, the same groundwater, the same ecosystem and lead to a cumulative toxic effect? I, for one, would rather we simply not take a chance.

One last comment before I close. I would like to applaud the efforts of all employees at The Pioneer and Echo newspapers for working constant overtime trying to produce balanced and fair articles on the issues concerning our valley. It would appear you do a tremendous job trying to reach a variety of sources to provide us with such great newspapers and its no doubt that, with such tight deadlines every week, not all stories might be to the best of your abilities. Cheers, for your hard work and commitment to our community!

Kind regards,

Jenny Hillman