Quebec Beekeepers Assoc. asks PMRA to ban neonics on field crops

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1.Considering that a large number of international, independent scientific studies have demonstrated the acute and/or chronic toxicity of neonicotinoid pesticides for bees, either through the insecticide dust liberated in the environment during the sowing of treated seeds, contaminated surface water that is drunk by bees, or their nectar and pollen foraging on treated plants;

2. Considering that the European Union Scientific Commission has analyzed these publications and concluded that neonicotinoids constitute an unacceptable threat to bees' life;

3. Considering that neonicotinoids are used on a very large scale in Quebec, namely in field crops, and that this massive use creates an unprecedented level of exposure for the bees, more than ever before;

4. Considering that the systematic use of neonicotinoids undermines the very foundations of integrated pest management, based on field scouting and one-off interventions when required by the situation;

5. Considering that fieldwork done in Quebec have asserted that bees are also directly and indirectly exposed to these substances and that they are also negatively impacted by such contacts;

6. Considering that pollinators' exposition to these substances is repetitive, prolonged over large periods of time and that more severe intoxication cases caused by these products can occur unpredictably, as incidents in Ontario during the Spring of 2012 have shown, even when these pesticides are used according to prescribed use.

7. Considering that some neonicotinoid pesticides have been homologated as an interim measure specifically because their security for pollinators had not been demonstrated to the Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA)'s satisfaction.

8. Considering that these interim homologations are still in force even if additional studies requested by the PMRA have not been completed after nine years.

9. Considering that comparative studies conducted by the Centre de recherche sur les grains (Centre for Research on Grains -CEROM) have demonstrated,in their first year, that the use of seeds treated with neonicotinoid pesticides do not lead to higher yields in corn production;

10. Considering that the commercial strategies of companies producing those neonicotinoid treated seeds make it very difficult for farmers to access non-treated seeds, thereby imposing a generalized use that is not agronomically justified;

11. Considering that neonicotinoids are water-soluble and persist in the ground and considering that their generalized and repeated use create water contamination problems;

12. Considering that neonicotinoid dust liberated in the air and the environment create unforeseen issues which effects have not been studied and which could threaten the health of rural populations, first and foremost that of farmers whose level of exposure are very high.

13. Considering that the different forms of pollution created by neonicotinoids would not only impact bees and other pollinators but also affect many other insects as well as other wildlife species such as insectivorous birds, fish and other aquatic species;

The Fédération des apiculteurs du Québec (FAQ - Quebec Beekeepers Federation) asserts that the current use of neonicotinoid pesticides in field crops is harmful to pollinators and creates environmental problems whose importance largely exceeds their eventual benefits. Therefore the FAQ asks the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) to ban their use on field crops.

14. Meanwhile, considering that while such a ban would represent an optimal solution, it remains unlikely in the short term, in Quebec or in Canada;

The Fédération des apiculteurs du Québec (FAQ - Quebec Beekeepers Federation) urges all interested stakeholders to adopt concrete measures in order to reduce the use of neonicotinoids as much as possible, first and foremost by ensuring the availability of non- treated seeds and by promoting the adoption of mitigation measures that will reduce risks of exposure for the bees.

Resolution unanimously adopted in a regular meeting of the FAQ board of directors on 15 May 2013.