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Ontario’s Rules to Reduce Neonicotinoid Pesticide: Protect Bees: Submit Comments Until May 7, 2015

Pesticide spraying: Image extracted from the CTV News video below.
Pesticide spraying: Image extracted from the CTV News video below.

This is an update to these previous blogs:

The following video presents 2013 09 26 – TV News Story – Canadian Bee Crisis:

“Environmental groups want federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose to reconsider Health Canada’s decision to re-approve a pesticide — severely restricted in Europe and linked to massive bee die-offs in Canada — for use on fruits, potatoes and turf. Lawyers from the Canadian Environmental Law Association and Ecojustice have filed a Notice of Objection with the health minister on behalf of Sierra Club Canada, Wilderness Committee, David Suzuki Foundation and Équiterre. The objection concerns Health Canada’s recent decision to renew the registration for clothianidin, a neonicotinoid pesticide toxic to bees, which the groups say should be banned in Canada.

Over the past two years, massive bee die-offs reported in Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec were linked to the use of neonicotinoid pesticides. In addition, a growing body of scientific literature documents the adverse effects of neonicotinoids on the foraging and homing behaviour of bees, as well as metabolic, immune and reproductive functions.”

Ontario is taking the strongest action in North America to protect bees, birds, butterflies, and other pollinators by proposing new rules that would reduce the number of acres planted with neonicotinoid-treated corn and soybean seeds by 80 per cent by 2017.

  • Some neonicotinoid insecticides are toxic to bees and other beneficial insects.
  • In the winter of 2013-2014, bee deaths in Ontario reached 58 per cent. The generally accepted level by those who care for and breed bees is 15 per cent.
  • Bees and other pollinators are responsible for pollinating roughly 13 per cent of agricultural crops in Ontario (crops worth about $897 million), and support $26 million annually in honey production.
  • Ontario’s agri-food sector employs 760,000 individuals and contributes $34 billion each year to the province’s economy.

“A comprehensive Pollinator Health Action Plan would improve the state of pollinator health in Ontario and strengthen their populations. The plan we are proposing to develop will promote a sustainable food supply, healthy ecosystems and a strong economy.”

The proposed regulation sets rules for the sale and use of neonicotinoid-treated corn and soybean seeds.

  • The amendments to Ontario Regulation 63/09, under the Pesticides Act would establish:
    • a new class of pesticides consisting of corn and soybean seeds treated with the neonicotinoids, imidacloprid, clothianidin or thiamethoxam,
    • rules for the sale and use of treated seeds,
    • timing and implementation of the regulatory requirements.

The draft regulation is available for public comment on the environmental registry until May 7, 2015. You can submit your comments in the following three ways: