The P.E.I. environmental group Earth Action is asking the province to release information about the use of commercial pesticides.

Sharon Labchuk

Pesticide use data would be better than pesticide sales day and easier to get, says Sharon Labchuk of Earth Action. (CBC)

Earth Action founder Sharon Labchuk said P.E.I.'s Environment Department was providing information on agricultural and business pesticide sales until 2008. In a statement to CBC News, the department says it is still collecting the information, but doesn't have an effective means to compile it.

It said that situation is now being addressed, and it hopes to be able to report on pesticide sales in the coming year.

But Labchuk said while there may be problems with compiling sales data, data on commercial use should readily available. She said commercial pesticide users already keep records: including types, application rates and locations. She would prefer that information be released.

"What I'm concerned about is that a lot of money could be sunk and staff resources in the department could be sunk into developing a new program to compile the sales data," said Labchuk.

"[That] to me would be a large waste of taxpayers' dollars to collect data that's really not very useful, when that same money could be put toward collecting the pesticide use data that growers already have on hand."

Labchuk said having the data on pesticide use could provide better information for health and environmental researchers.