It’s time to ban bee-killing pesticides

There’s been a lot of buzz lately about bee-killing pesticides. Bees have been dying off at alarming rates, and neonicotinoid pesticides are implicated in this decline. Bees aren’t the only victims. “Neonic” pesticides may harm the human brain, nervous system and hormonal system.

In June 2014, an international group of independent scientists released the results of a comprehensive analysis of 800 peer-reviewed studies on neonics — a massive, four-year undertaking. Their conclusion: “…there is clear evidence of harm sufficient to trigger regulatory action.” The assessment highlights serious risks, not only to bees, but to many other beneficial species, including butterflies, earthworms and birds.

Meanwhile, research indicates that neonics do not necessarily increase agricultural yields. So why are we still using them? Last year, Europe announced a moratorium on the use of three neonics on bee-attracting crops.

In Canada, however, these pesticides are still in widespread use. Canadian regulators have confirmed that neonics used on corn seed is a contributing factor to bee die-offs in Ontario and Quebec, but they continue to allow the use of these pesticides.

In the case of clothianidin — a neonic used to treat corn seeds and frequently detected in samples of dead bees — Canadian regulators even signed off on its re-approval last year just as their European counterparts were implementing a ban. That stings!

Federal and provincial governments share responsibility for pesticide regulation in Canada. Join us in calling on our regulators to side with the science and ban neonics.


Update: On July 1, 2015, the Ontario government became the first government in North America to restrict the use of seeds treated with neonicotinoid pesticides. Ontario has proposed reducing use of neonics by 80 per cent by 2017, and has drafted a Pollinator Health Plan, open for comment until March 7, 2016. These are encouraging steps forward in the growing movement to save the bees. Please help keep the momentum going by demanding action from the federal government and other provinces.


Read more about how you can protect the bees and butterflies.


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