'We have been more of a cheeleader behind the scenes'

With the passing of new pesticides safety legislation through the Senate early this year, the Pesticides Focus Group (PFG) is going into hibernation.

The PFG was formed in 2000 at the encouragement of then Director of Environmental Protection Dr. Tom Sleeter.

The purpose of the group was to help educate people about the proper use of pesticides and to promote the use of non-toxic alternatives.

  • Dr. Jamie Bacon of the Bermuda Amphibian Research Project.

    Dr. Jamie Bacon of the Bermuda Amphibian Research Project.

  • The PFG was formed in 2000 at the encouragement of then Director of Environmental Protection Dr. Tom SLeeter.

    The PFG was formed in 2000 at the encouragement of then Director of Environmental Protection Dr. Tom SLeeter.


With the passing of new pesticides safety legislation through the Senate early this year, the Pesticides Focus Group (PFG) is going into hibernation.

The PFG was formed in 2000 at the encouragement of then Director of Environmental Protection Dr. Tom Sleeter.

The purpose of the group was to help educate people about the proper use of pesticides and to promote the use of non-toxic alternatives.

"Dr. Sleeter recognised the need to update the fragmented and outdated legislation on pesticides," said Dr. Jamie Bacon, who chaired the group. "The mission of the PFG was to promote the safe and responsible use of pesticides, and actively encourage the use of alternatives, through the support of new policies, regulations and educational programmes."

The Garden Club is one of the PFG members, and they also have representatives from the Rose Society, a private landscaper, an owner of a garden supply centre, the general manager of a pest control company and employees of the Department of Environmental Protection.

"The group has varied a bit over the years but the aim was to include representatives from various stakeholder groups," said Dr. Bacon.

"The Garden Club along with Animal and Garden House and Bermuda Pest Control kindly sponsored the graphics work and printing of our latest brochure 'Got Weeds'.

"Early in our history (2001), Dr. Sleeter had the PFG consult with an environmental lawyer hired by Government to draft a new Pesticides Safety Act."

Unfortunately, this act stalled when more pressing issues arose. "During the subsequent years, we have been more of a cheerleader behind the scenes, encouraging Government to put the new pesticides legislation back on the front burner," said Dr. Bacon.

"This was in addition to our public education initiatives, particularly our series of brochures."

When the Pesticides Safety Act 2008 passed the Senate, the Pesticides Focus Group decided to take a break.

"One of the main reasons for our existence had come to pass," said Dr. Bacon. "We need to commend government for passing the new legislation.

"That it is a very positive step to ensure that human and environmental health is protected. Also, the publication of our latest brochure completes the series of topics we had wanted to address. So, for the time being, the PFG is in hibernation.

"We're a group of volunteers with very busy schedules at the moment. However, we are still working on a couple of things via e-mail."

  • Take Our Poll

    • "Next cab off the rank for David Burt in national security?"
    • Lt-Col David Burch
    • 48%
    • Crystal Caesar
    • 3%
    • Vance Campbell
    • 3%
    • Christopher Famous
    • 7%
    • Renee Ming
    • 8%
    • Lawrence Scott
    • 4%
    • Scott Simmons
    • 3%
    • Michael Weeks
    • 23%
    • Total Votes: 1891
    • Poll Archive

    Today's Obituaries

    eMoo Posts