Canada must ban neonics

We're starting to turn a corner away from the indiscriminate use of these harmful chemicals. But we need to pick up the pace.

Health Canada has proposed to phase out the commonly used neonic pesticide imidacloprid within three to five years and has launched special reviews of other neonics registered for use in Canada.

Imidacloprid is used to control pests on canola, grown mostly in Western Canada. It’s also used as a spray for trees and some greenhouse products, and even to control ticks and fleas on household pets.

Health Canada made the decision to phase out imidacloprid out of serious concern that the pesticide poses an unacceptable risk to aquatic biodiversity in Canadian lakes and rivers, particularly for invertebrates such as mayflies and midges, which are an important part of the aquatic food web. The agency has launched a 90-day consultation period to ask Canadians if imidacloprid should be banned.

You can comment until March 23, 2017.

In 2014, an independent review of more than 1,100 peer-reviewed scientific articles concluded that neonicotinoid pesticides (“neonics”) pose an unacceptable risk to biodiversity, including species beneficial to farmers, such as earthworms and pollinators. Neonic-treated corn and soybean seed have been connected to catastrophic bee die offs during planting in Ontario and Quebec.

New research shows that neonics do not necessarily increase agricultural yields. Why are we still using them in Canada when countries like France have banned them altogether?

In 2015, Ontario introduced North America’s first regulatory restrictions on neonics. Ontario’s first report on neonic-treated seeds shows a 24 per cent decline in the total area planted in 2016. But more than three million acres are still planted with these pesticide-coated corn seeds.

Please take a moment to send a letter to Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency. Say that while you support the proposed ban on imidacloprid, you want to see the agency move faster to ban all types of neonics in Canada, following the lead of the French National Assembly, which will ban all neonics starting in 2018.


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