Canada must ban neonics NOW

“In aquatic environments in Canada, imidacloprid [a neonic] is being measured at levels that are harmful to aquatic insects. These insects are an important part of the ecosystem, including as a food source for fish, birds and other animals. Based on currently available information, the continued high volume use of imidacloprid in agricultural areas is not sustainable.”
- Health Canada, November 23, 2016

Neonicotinoid pesticides (“neonics”) are nicotine‐based insecticides. They target the central nervous system of insect pests. They are toxic even at very low doses, water-soluble and persistent. Their extensive, routine application in agriculture is causing large-scale environmental contamination.

In 2015, the Task Force on Systemic Pesticides — a team of independent scientists convened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature — assessed the science on neonics. They looked at more than 1,100 peer-reviewed studies.

Their conclusion: Neonics harm honeybees and many other species, including aquatic insects at the base of the food chain, earthworms and common birds.

In September 2017, the Task Force updated its assessment. It included hundreds of new peer-reviewed studies.

The new assessment shows neonics harm even more species. They are a major, worldwide threat to biodiversity and ecosystems.

Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency wants to phase out most uses of imidacloprid — but not until 2021 at the earliest! We need to pick up the pace.

In 2013, the EU stopped certain uses of the three main neonics on crops bees rely on and is now considering more bans. France’s new biodiversity law bans all neonics, starting in September 2018.

What is Canada waiting for?

People who care sent tens of thousands of comments in support of the proposed imidacloprid phase-out last spring! The health minister will make a final decision in December 2018. The PMRA is also reviewing two other main neonics, clothianidin and thiamethoxam.

Please send a letter to Minister of Health Ginette Petitpas Taylor. Ask her to phase out imidacloprid and ban all neonics now.

Read more: Neonics Backgrounder, Highlights from the 2017 update to the Worldwide Integrated Assessment of the Effects of Systemic Pesticides on Biodiversity and Ecosystems (WIA2)

 

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