Note to persons reviewing the presentation by Dr. Coombs

Attached is a copy of a presentation I gave to Lanark Highlands Township Council on May 17, 2016, outlining concerns that exist regarding use of Clearview herbicide spray for the control of Wild Parsnip along county roadsides. I expressed these concerns as a physician working with the present epidemic of autism in our communities. In the presentation, I reference more recent scientific studies that are showing a definite link between the increasing levels of environmental contaminants and the rates of autism (and other childhood neurological issues such as ADD, and other adult medical conditions such as diabetes). I feel strongly that any decision as to whether to use a herbicide spray (and if so to what extent) should be made with this newer information in mind. I do not think it wise to rely merely upon the traditional toxicological assessments that have been used in the past to present Clearview as a “safe” herbicide.

Best regards,

John F Coombs, M.D.
Fallbrook, Ontario, K0G 1A0

Halt Herbicide Spraying of our Roadsides

Lanark County Council has voted to implement a 2-year program to spray our roadsides with a broad-based toxic herbicide called ClearView. Last year, in 2015, unbeknownst to  most residents, a partial trial spray was conducted and deemed successful.

Inspite of the potential long-term and irreversible consequences of using such a herbicide, a comprehensive study has not been undertaken.

On the contrary…

Council has decided to engage in a spray program that has not been proven to be effective and that might result in irreversible consequences including loss of pollinator habitat and negative impacts on our local food industry.

Research indicates that the herbicide will not control wild parsnip and that other methods, such as mowing and a public awareness campaign can be effective.

Given the seriousness of this matter, we are asking for a moratorium while alternatives are properly researched and a comprehensive third party impact assessment has been undertaken.

Please join us to stop the spray and help keep Lanark County safe for all people, pets, animals and bees.

If you have any questions, want to voice your support or concern, please email us at

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