Ontario Beekeepers' Association say ban neonic pesticides

Fourteen conservation and environmental groups have called on the Canadian government to end the use of neonicotinoid insecticides immediately. This follows Ottawa concluding consultations on the latest neonic risk assessments. 

In Canada it's estimated that over 460,000 people have taken part in campaigns to ban neonics. This includes signing petitions and writing letters to the federal government. This level of concern has risen in recent days, following Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency concluding public consultations on proposals to phase out the neonics called clothianidin and thiamethoxam in three to five years. The decision about a third neonic, imidacloprid, is yet to be finalized.

The reviews concluded the risks from most uses of neonics are unacceptable in relation to protecting bees. As Digital Journal reported earlier, neonicotinoids ('neonics') are a form of neuro-active insecticide. Neonicotinoid use has been linked in a range of studies to adverse ecological effects, such as honey-bee colony collapse disorder plus a loss of birds, which is a consequence of a reduction in insect populations. 

While various campaign groups support the government’s proposed ban on neonics, they are calling upon the government to speed up the timeline in order to protect pollinators, aquatic insects and other beneficial species. The groups that have to come together for this concerted action include Avaaz, David Suzuki Foundation, Environmental Defence, Equiterre, Leadnow, Nature Canada, SumOfUs, Wilderness Committee and the Ontario Beekeepers’ Association. 

The concern is that the current slow-motion phase-out of the main neonics allows their use to continue until 2023 or beyond. This delay could lead to further widespread and preventable ecological damage. In contrast, the European Union has put in place a comprehensive ban will enter into effect in December 2018. 

The widespread use of neonics has led to pervasive environmental contamination. Scientists point to clear evidence of serious harm to many species and ecosystems. In relation to this, a lawsuit brought by environmental groups to protect pollinators from the harmful neonic thiamethoxam will be heard by the Federal Court in Toronto, November 19 to 23, 2018.

Continue reading article in Digital Journal reported November 16, 2018.