Neonics: better alternatives or only option?

Entomologists claim there are less toxic products available; researchers say depending on the pest, alternative treatments are more hazardous

Many growers, crop protection companies and agronomists use a standard line to defend insecticide seed treatments.

The line goes something like this: if neonicotinoid seed treatments were banned, growers would control pests with older insecticides like organophosphates, which are more toxic to bees, wildlife and humans.

Jean-Marc Bonmatin, of the National Centre for Scientific Research in France and a pesticide expert, said that standard argument is bogus, for a couple of reasons:

  • For one, farmers only need to control insects on 10 percent of the time for crops like corn and soy. In other words, there’s no need to use alternative insecticides because pest control typically isn’t necessary.
  • Two, if pests do reach an economic threshold in crops, farmers can use biological products or use insecticides that are less harmful and less persistent than neonicotinoids.

“Most of the time you don’t need a pesticide… in the vast majority of cases, when I say vast majority it’s about 90 percent (of the time) for crops such as corn, soybeans or sunflowers, ” said Bonmatin, who spoke with Ontario politicians and the media in late May, as part of an event organized by the David Suzuki Foundation.

“If you have to use it, there are a lot of products which are less toxic and less persistent (than neonicotinoids). Less toxic for bees but also for other species.”

Bonmatin was part of the Task Force on Systemic Pesticides, a collection of scientists who reviewed published research on neonicotinoids, which coat nearly all the corn and canola seed in North America and a portion of soybean seeds.

The Task Force released a report on its findings in 2014. www.tfsp.info/worldwide-integrated-assessment/.

Neonicotinoids, commonly known as neonics, have been linked to bee deaths and bee colony losses in Europe and North America. Some scientists believe they are contaminating soil and water, which threatens aquatic insects and the wild birds that depend on those insects for food.

In an interview with The Western Producer, Bonmatin said neonics are used on more than 100 crops and in more than 100 countries.

But he said crops rarely need protection from pests.

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“It’s a little bit like antibiotics. Neonics shouldn’t be automatic.”

Bonmatin said producers should employ integrated pest management, such as crop rotations and managing pests with natural predators, before resorting to insecticides.

“In the 10 remaining percent of cases, you still have the choice to treat biologically or use chemicals, as a last resort.”

Bonmatin said neonic seed treatments are used whether pests are present or not. Therefore, they do not belong in an IPM program.

“(Neonic) seed treatments, in my opinion, should be banned because it doesn’t correspond to integrated pest management at all.”

Jeanette Gaultier, Manitoba Agriculture pest specialist, said Bonmatin’s comment that there are safer alternatives to neonics is partly true.

“Sometimes there are less toxic, less persistent insecticide options and other times there aren’t,” she said in an email. “There are some foliar products on the market that are less toxic to bees and less persistent in the environment. Coragen, Bt products like Xentari and Dipel, and Beleaf are all examples. These are definitely alternatives but largely for Lepidoptera and grasshopper control.”

But in the case of other crop pests, like wireworms and seed corn maggot, neonic seed treatments are the only option, she said.

For flea beetles on canola and soybean aphids, the alternatives are more hazardous.

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“Foliar options are often limited to organophosphate or pyrethroid insecticides… which have higher bee toxicity and increased exposure potential,” Gaultier said.

Peter Johnson, an agronomist in Ontario, said research indicates that pests threaten about one out of every four fields in the province, higher than Bonmatin’s one in 10 figure.

“The best science that I’ve seen, for Ontario conditions, would suggest that somewhere between 25 and 30 percent of Ontario acres are at risk, at any given time.”

John Gavloski, Manitoba Agriculture entomologist, said earlier this year that five to 20 percent of Manitoba’s soybean acres have wireworm problems and require a neonic seed treatment. He said neonics aren’t necessary on most soybean crops.

“The other 60 to 70 percent (of growers) that have neonic and (don’t) have the wireworm issues, it’s really hit and miss whether they’re going to get any benefit.”

In a draft report leaked to the media last month, Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency backed Gavloski’s assessment.

PMRA scientists said neonics provide little to no value to Canada’s soybean industry and the cost may exceed the benefits for soybean producers in Manitoba.

To read more on Ontario agricultural policy see The Western Producer’s opinion piece at www.producer.com/2015/06/who-controls-agricultural-policy-in-ontario/

Contact robert.arnason@producer.com

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  • richard

    The article speaks to the common sense of a holistic approach to agriculture……but it flies in the face of the insidious transformation of every plot of land, every domestic animal, every human being…..into a chronic care patient.

  • NORAHG RESPONDS AGAINST JEAN-MARC BONMATIN ― NO HARM WILL OCCUR TO BEES !

    Jean-Marc Bonmatin is NOT to be trusted ! Bonmatin is PAID-FOR-PROFIT by pesticide-hating organizations like IUCN, David Suzuki Foundation, and Ontario Beekeepers’ Association, to alarm and enrage the public by concocting fraudulent lies and imaginary danger against neonicotinoid insecticides. Bonmatin operates with International Union for the Conservation of Nature ( IUCN, a.k.a. Task Force On Systemic Pesticides ), an organization that deceives the public about neonicotinoid insecticides. The non-expert IUCN report concocts the story that there is some kind of bee crisis. In fact, there is NO bee crisis. Overall, these insecticides will NOT harm bees. If Bonmatin and his IUCN co-conspirators were not so scientifically illiterate, they would know that scientific research shows that, as reported through EPA’s and Health Canada’s vast toxicology database, no harm will occur to bees. The alleged losses of bees are, in fact, the fault of the bee-keepers and THEIR mis-management practices. They are responsible, and NOT neonicotinoid insecticides. Their prohibition will not save bees since harming bees with these insecticides is a MYTH ! Neonicotinoid insecticides cause NO harm, and WILL NOT harm bees. Researchers have NOT identified a single cause of over-wintering honeybee losses. Moreover, researchers have NOT been able to identify a single cause of bee colony collapse disorder. Under normal field use of neonicotinoid insecticides, the exposure to bees is at very low levels, far too low to cause harmful effects. There is NO evidence to suggest a link between neonicotinoid insecticides and bee colony collapse disorder. Overall, so-called links and causes between bee colony collapse disorder and neonicotinoid insecticides are mere MYTHS ! The weight of the scientific evidence clearly shows that neonicotinoid insecticides DO NOT affect long-term colony health. Overall, neonicotinoid insecticides play a NEGLIGIBLE role compared to diseases, viruses, and loss of habitat. Most experts agree that, in recent years, bee colony collapse disorder is the result of a combination of factors, including parasitic mites and diseases. Recent scientific research points toward a combination of parasitic mites ( specifically the varroa mite ) and pathogens ( such as nosema and viral diseases ) as main factors. Although some neonicotinoid insecticides are toxic to bees upon direct contact ( as are many insecticides ), they are used in a way that minimizes any direct exposure to bees, such as seed treatment. Seed treatment insecticides have been used for a decade with almost NO incidences of negative impacts on bees by minimizing potential exposures of non-target insects such as bees. Independent, long-term, controlled field tests have repeatedly shown NO effects on bee losses, weight gain, worker longevity, brood development, honey yield, and over-winter survival relative to bees in areas where treated seed was not used. If we had less conventional neonicotinoid use in the environment, we would still have bee colony collapse disorder, because many bee-keepers are NOT competent to manage their hives. Prohibition will not save bees. http://tinyurl.com/pxqzh6m The reckless pesticide-hating Bonmatin and his IUCN co-conspirators are WRONG ! The whole truth about IUCN can be found in the following report … http://wp.me/p1jq40-85q For the whole truth regarding BEES, go to The Pesticide Truths Web-Site … http://wp.me/p1jq40-6WJ http://wp.me/P1jq40-2BA http://wp.me/p1jq40-6H8 http://wp.me/p1jq40-7ty We are the National Organization Responding Against HUJE that conspire to destroy the Green space and other industries ( NORAH G ). As a non-profit and independent organization, we are environmentalists who are dedicated to reporting about NON-EXPERT PESTICIDE-HATING FANATICS, as well as the work of RESPECTED and HIGHLY RATED EXPERTS who promote ENVIRONMENTAL REALISM and PESTICIDE TRUTHS. http://wp.me/p1jq40-8DV Get the latest details at http://pesticidetruths.com/ WILLIAM H GATHERCOLE AND NORAH G

    • richartd

      Funny, what I read in the article was that neonics are being used all the time on corn and soy when they are only needed ten per cent of the time. And, that there were less impactful alternatives to be used post emergence when crisis occur…..Seems like a more sensible alternative to habitual carpet bombing of ecosystems with neurotoxins…..

      • The are NO alternatives that works. |They are called alternatives because they are dismal failures.

        • richard

          Funny, because on my farm we use forage legumes extensively in long term rotations……both of which attract multi predatory competition to the ecosytem….thus mitigating pest pressure on an ongoing basis……In thirty five years never used a neuro toxin once…… Those who choose to be at war with nature tend to vehemently defend pedal to the metal status quo ignorance……

          • … NO ONE is at war with nature, especially those who use conventional pest control products. Conventional pest control products ARE environmentally-friendly since the scientific research shows that, as reported through EPA’s and Health Canada’s vast toxicology database, NO harm will occur when these products are applied properly. There is NO health risk associated with the proper application of pest control products. The risk assessment of pest control products indicates that they are practically-non-toxic. Consequently, it is a fact that pest control products will cause NO harm, including chronic effects such as cancer. http://wp.me/P1jq40-2nl There are NO pest control products that are known or probable carcinogens. All pesticides have been evaluated for their carcinogenic potential. http://wp.me/p1jq40-6yf There are NO viable, efficacious, economical, or low-risk alternatives to replace conventional pest control products. Green alternative pesticides are bogus and dismal failures ― they do not work and they are not innovative products. http://wp.me/P1jq40-24g By definition, alternatives are INFERIOR, which is why they did NOT win the market-place originally http://wp.me/p1jq40-5R8

          • richard

            Kill a bug, kill a weed, kill a bacteria, kill a fungus, kill a crop…..sounds like war to me…. Its a war of attrition and ironically the perpetrator is the loser…..

    • ed

      You are getting pretty excited there. You should relax and have a cup of tea and honey. Hopefully you can find some as close to natural or organic honey given the circumstances in North America. The tea should be ok.

    • ed

      Like the skull and cross bones labels on these poisonous products, Please Do Not Remove for good reason. Stay calm and carry on. Tea and honey works well.

      • TO ED — The diluted solutions of pest control products are NOT assessed as requiring a skull a crossbones. Even in their concentrated forms, three-way herbicide products like Killex Turf Herbicide, that contain 2,4-D, have a LOW TOXICITY, with Oral LD50 greater than 5000 mg per kg. This LD50 value indicates that these products, even in their concentrated pre-diluted form, are safer than household items such as baking soda, caffeine, ethanol, and TABLE SALT. In toxicology, the Median Lethal Dose, LD50 ( abbreviation for the « Lethal Dose, 50 per cent » ), is a value that represents the dose that is fatal for 50 per cent of an experimental group of laboratory animals, in most cases rats.

        • ed

          You should still play it safe (use the precautionary principle if you will) and stick with the even more diluted levels of these products via honey in your tea rather than adding these so called safe products into the pot. Just to be extra vigilant.

          • Don

            The sacred “precautionary principle” is also known as the do nothing principle. Those that do nothing need not worry about ever taking a risk or ever making a mistake.

          • richard

            You mean mistakes like BSE, BST, CJD, CWD, PED, ractopamine, zlimax….. weed, pest, disease, antibiotic resistance…..thats why the public is so enthralled with pedal to the metal status quo ignorance.

          • Don

            Your examples Richard, brought up regularly from your side of this issue, range from accidents of nature to lessons learned in a few cases, I will admit. If you admit that the reasons you raise them are to raise fear alarms and push your issue ahead, then perhaps there is hope for common ground.

          • richard

            “There are no accidents in the universe” (Einstein)… My only issue here, sir, is setting the record straight. And each and every time I witness academic and/or corporate hubris rearing its head, proclaiming how the latest quick trick fix is going to save agriculture…..well, I feel compelled speak. Its funny how the self same “science” you vehemently defend….when it turns against you, becomes the domain of “activists” and the “misinformed”….The reason agribiz finds itself in the biggest PR disaster in human history is because it is in absolute denial about its defective thinking. I give you credit though, you are the first one in ten years to even acknowledge this fact……

          • Don

            Well then you have watched agriculture become more intensive and more productive for ten years! A true success story that will continue to evolve as time goes on.

          • richard

            You mean evolve as in, more dependence on ‘war on nature’ as a business platform???…… If you guys really believe that your “whack a mole” approach to agriculture is a success story, why is it that your agronomic problems keep recurring and with vengeance? “Success” requires that fundamental issues are resolved at recognition….and that aint happening….sorry… Shoot at me all you want but please stop wondering why an increasingly educated public is pushing hard against the wall of myths….

          • Don

            All about perspective Richard. Pity for you.

          • Don

            By the way, I believe the correct spelling is Zilmax. Glad you brought up this example of ethical product stewardship by a reputable animal health company.

          • ed

            Kind of like flying in a wing suit, right! Beats doing nothing. With this industries daredevil attitude, which you have so fondly identified, they could write and publish volumes on catastrophic disasters and the art of marketing error and mistake accomplishment.

          • Don

            Daredevil would be your precautionary principle Ed! We’d still be chasing wild animals and eating berries the way your dialogue reads. Nothing’s perfect friend, but those of us working in Ag today give it a fair shot every chance we get.

          • ed

            What ever helps you sleep at night.

          • … The Precautionary Principle was intended for use where science DOES NOT EXIST. Such is NOT the case with pest control products ― Health Canada requires each new pest control product to go through a COMPREHENSIVE ASSESSMENT of over TWO-HUNDRED SEPARATE TESTS and a REVIEW of all scientifically credible studies that exist to ensure that the product will NOT CAUSE HARM TO PEOPLE, ANIMALS OR THE ENVIRONMENT. Nonetheless, the Precautionary Principle is CO-OPTED by Anti-Pesticide Activists to justify their position where SCIENCE-BASED ASSESSMENT does not support their JUNK-SCIENCE PHILOSOPHY. The Precautionary Principle is MIS-USED TO SERVE THE AMBITIONS of Environmental and Anti-Pesticide Activists. The Precautionary Principle is essentially VACUOUS, since « full scientific certainty » is IMPOSSIBLE. With the Precautionary Principle, activists DO NOT HAVE TO PRESENT ANY EVIDENCE … they just have to say « harmful to the environment ». The ABSOLUTIST INTERPRETATION of the Precautionary Principle is used by activists TO JUSTIFY ANY KIND OF REGULATORY INTERVENTION OR BAN. …

          • ed

            Real scientist would disagree with you and have such been fired, muzzled or have quit in disgust out of the Ottawa Health Canada scientific gene pool. leaving it full of patsy types supporting the corporate profit machine. The back up plan seems to be chemotherapy also dipping into Canadians pockets thru medicare. It is two to nothing for the corporate interests over Canadian interests right there. That what happens when you get jack-boots in government. You will find that it is these very creditable scientist that quit speaking out that is your source of pain, not who you would rather blame.

          • John Fefchak

            TO WILLIAM H GATHERCOLE & NORAH G
            Here’s another David Suzuki. You probably won’t like what this one says either.
            re:WPG FREE PRESS 9 September. 2013. Have Your Say.
            Approval data incomplete

            Re: Regulated pesticides safe, effective (Sept. 5). I am a retired senior federal public servant familiar with the pesticide-approval process in Ottawa. The Pest Management Regulatory Agency of Health Canada has no labs of its own and approves pesticides on the basis of incomplete data submitted by the chemical industry.

            It is common knowledge that the PMRA is very weak in epidemiology, which means that its research and evaluations may not be fully applicable to humans.

            I very much doubt that the PMRA evaluates all pesticides, since some information is being withheld from this agency. The recent evaluation of herbicide 2,4-D could hardly be considered extensive.

            We would like to know how is the “acceptable” risk being distinguished from “unacceptable” risk? We may also ask: “acceptable or unacceptable” to whom? Obviously, sound science is an important concept, but it can be manipulated to protect vested interests.

            KAZIMIERA COTTAM

            Ottawa

          • NORAHG RESPONDS AGAINST COTTAM GHOST-WRITERS ― CAN THEY BE TRUSTED ?!?!

            Jean Cottam is an anonymous subversive conduit for prominent pesticide-hating fanatics like Gideon Forman, Meg Sears, Michael Christie, Richard Clarkson, and others. They falsely allege being somehow « familiar with the Ottawa pesticide approval scene », which is not true. These ghost-writers continually attempt to confuse and subvert the issues surrounding pest control products by using statements like « don’t trust Health Canada to study pesticides ». For their own vested interest, they want to impose a prohibition against pest control products used in the urban landscape. Most have huge vested interests in perpetuating imaginary dangers about pest control products because they are paid to do so. Cottam ghost-writers have been using the Cottam name as a shield against imminent legal reprisals for fraud and conspiracy. Can Cottam ghost-writers be trusted ?!?!

            COTTAM GHOST-WRITERS ARE WRONG ABOUT HEALTH CANADA ! There is NO need for Health Canada laboratories. Cottam ghost-writers express mock-dismay about the fact that Health Canada does NOT have its own laboratories. Clearly, this is an attempt to invalidate this federal government agency. Just because regulatory agencies like Health Canada do NOT conduct any studies themselves does NOT mean that they are merely « rubber stamping » studies submitted to them by the manufacturing industry. In Canada, pest control products, or pesticides, are regulated by Health Canada under the Pest Control Products Act, and are among the most stringently regulated substances in Canada. In order to ensure the accuracy of assessments of pest control products, Health Canada does NOT need its own laboratories, and neither does any other regulatory agency in the world. All assessments used for the approval of pest control products must be completed by laboratories sanctioned by Good Laboratory Practices ( GLP ), and using only GLP practices. Instead, Health Canada follows the internationally-accredited Good Laboratory Practices for assessing the safety of pest control products. Good Laboratory Practices allow Health Canada to be impartial and rigorous. The accuracy of assessments of pest control products is ensured since Health Canada follows a set of guidelines and principles developed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development ( OECD ). The 30 OECD member countries include Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Japan. The assessments of all pest control products must be conducted under those guidelines which adhere to principles of the internationally-accredited Good Laboratory Practices. Ultimately, the cost to manufacturers to get a pest control product assessed for safety and brought to market is about 250 million dollars. Only those pest control products that pose NO unacceptable risk to health and environment become Health-Canada-approved and federally-legal. There is NO need for Health Canada laboratories.

            For more information about Cottam Ghost-Writers, go to The Pesticide Truths Web-Site … http://wp.me/P1jq40-2V6 WILLIAM H GATHERCOLE AND NORAH G http://pesticidetruths.com/

          • TO FEFCHAK — There is NO SUCH retired senior federal public servant familiar with the pesticide-approval process in Ottawa. The name Cottam is merely exploited as a SHIELD by SUBVERSIVE Anti-Pesticide Activists. Cottam is part of a group of GHOST-WRITERS who are listed among CANADA’S PROMINENT ANTI-PESTICIDE ACTIVISTS. They have been PRINCIPAL ARCHITECTS in the CONSPIRACY TO PROHIBIT pest control products used in the Urban Landscape. Their ANTI-PESTICIDE ACTS OF SUBVERSION have EXTENSIVELY DAMAGED the Professional Lawn Care Industry. http://wp.me/P1jq40-5On Are we to believe that an assessment from an ANONYMOUS group of Ghost-Writers is somehow worth more than Health Canada ?!?! http://wp.me/P1jq40-2V6 Interestingly, the REAL Cottam is an almost 90-year-old divorced chronologically-gifted computer-challenged non-expert family- ostracized octogenarian. Cottam is living out her final years in a condominium complex located in Ottawa, Ontario, and allows activists to exploit her name in exchange for profit. WILLIAM H GATHERCOLE AND NORAH G http://pesticidetruths.com/

  • John Fefchak

    Are readers to understand,… that farmers, as the growers of food, have to keep inhaling this poison which makes them and us sick in the process, so we can save the worldwide population explosion from starvation.? I Don’t Think So!
    And, who came up with the “Bright Idea” that “we” have a responsibility to feed the world’s masses of hungry people. Is that written down somewhere?

    Prof. David Suzuki tells us..”If we pollute the air,water and soil that keeps us alive and well, and destroy thebiodiversity that allows natural systems to function, no amount of money will save us”.

    • Denise

      John, I don’t understand why the farmers have not spoken up ,like other consumers do, and made it clear they want be able to have choices in the products they buy. Especially when some of these products can be harmful to the farmers and their families.
      It’s incredible that the farmers are so limited in choice, when they go to buy seed. Only in North America, do these agricultural corporations have such power and control to dictate what they will sell to the farmers.
      “nearly all the corn and canola seed in North America and a portion of the soybeans seeds” are coated with neonics! Wow, talk about monopolizing the market.
      Good for Lowes and Home Depot, in the retail market. They have stopped selling plants and flowers that used to be automatically infiltrated with neonics.The public’s outcries brought about that change,in very short order! I hope the farmers realize they are empowered to bring about the change they want, too.

      • John Fefchak

        Me neither! Sometimes the wives get involved and speak out, but this does not happen often enough.

        • Denise

          The Task Force on Systemic Pesticides report on its findings explain clearly what many of us have felt is wrong with chemical agriculture all along. If you skip to the the Conclusion section, the Task Force outlines an integrated pest management (IPM) approach. Applying chemicals is the LAST option, not the first. There are many healthier alternatives which prevent environmental loading and protect the land for future generations of farmers.

          • THE FRAUDULENT USE OF NON-EXPERT TASK FORCE ASSESSMENT

            Friends of the Earth and David Suzuki are DECEIVING the public about neonicotinoid insecticides. The IUCN assessment is merely an amateurish attempt to perform pesticide research. The IUCN assessment has been discredited since its finding could not even be published in any peer-reviewed and legitimate scientific journal. On June 24th, 2014, a non-expert assessment by International Union for the Conservation of Nature ( IUCN, a.k.a. Task Force On Systemic Pesticides ), a pesticide-hating lobby-organization, alleged that neonicotinoid insecticides MAY be harming a range of species and MAY be responsible for so-called bee colony collapse disorder. This assessment by IUCN has been DISCREDITED, but, unfortunately has been FRAUDULENTLY USED by pesticide-hating fanatics in their conspiracy to recklessly and arbitrarily impose prohibition against neonicotinoid insecticides ! http://wp.me/p1jq40-86b IUCN’s reckless and arbitrary demands to prohibit against neonicotinoid insecticides will not resolve so-called bee colony collapse disorder, and will not help bee-keepers with their pest problems. The fraudulent mis-use of the non-expert IUCN report is designed to alarm and enrage the public into arriving at inappropriate conclusions about neonicotinoid insecticides. The non-expert IUCN report concocts the story that there is some kind of bee crisis. There is NO bee crisis. Clearly, the principal mandate of IUCN has been to attract more members, more donations, and more profit by scamming the public with the concoction of fraudulent lies and imaginary danger about neonicotinoid insecticides. There is a growing and conclusive body of evidence about IUCN squandering and misappropriating its public donations on subversive and partisan anti-pesticide conspiracies. There is also conclusive evidence that IUCN is interfering with partisan politics, and is in violation of taxation laws in several jurisdictions. Consequently, IUCN does not deserve any donations or support. Nor does it deserve a charity tax-exempt status. Scientific research shows, as reported through EPA’s and Health Canada’s vast scientific database, that no harm will occur to bees when neonicotinoid insecticides are used properly. There is no bee crisis. Science and statistics do not support IUCN’s reckless and arbitrary demands to prohibit against neonicotinoid insecticides. There are no IUCN activists who have any background, training, or education in matters concerning neonicotinoid insecticides. Any IUCN opinion is valueless and worthless. If we had less conventional neonicotinoid use in the environment, we would still have bee colony collapse disorder, because many bee-keepers are not competent to manage their hives. The whole truth about neonicotinoid insecticides can be found at … http://wp.me/P1jq40-2BA http://wp.me/p1jq40-6WJ http://wp.me/p1jq40-6H8 The whole truth about IUCN can be found in the following report … http://wp.me/p1jq40-85q

          • Denise

            I’m pretty sure the beekeepers know how to look after their bees very well, after all,they depend on these industrious little creatures for their liveihood.
            Sooo.. if the neonics are not causing the massive colony collapses, as you claim, I guess the beekeepers are just letting their imaginations run wild and strking out at neonic insecticides as the cause of all the bee deaths in their colonies.
            There are a couple of hitches in your ‘scientific’support for neonics, though.
            (1) Are neonics are genetically programmed to select and kill JUST the pests but NOT the pollinators? Yes? No….?
            (2) If this product does no harm,why are we losing all the WILD pollinators (noticeably the bumblebees) as well? What’s the plan for that tragedy which is playing out ,as we speak? I don’t think drones can compete with Mother Nature’s creations, if that’s your solution.

          • TO DENISE — The alleged losses of bees are, in fact, the FAULT of the Bee-Keepers and their MIS-MANAGEMENT PRACTICES. THEY are responsible, and NOT Neonicotinoid Insecticides. Some Bee-Keepers HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THEY ARE DOING, leading some observers to conclude that Bee-Keepers may NOT BE COMPETENT TO RAISE BEES. Why are only a VERY LIMITED NUMBER of Bee-Keepers affected ?!?! Why don’t government inspectors and specialists investigate the killing of bees by Bee-Keepers ?!?!

    • Really ?!?! Suzuki is NOT a valid reference on matters concerning pest control products ?!?! It is inescapable that the allegations concocted by the pesticide-hating David Suzuki and his bee conspiracy fanatics against neonicotinoid insecticides are FALSE ! If we had less conventional neonicotinoid use in Ontario, we would still have bee colony collapse disorder, because many bee-keepers are NOT competent to manage their hives.

      • John Fefchak

        Inescapable… Concocted allegations, Really ?! Suzuki may not be the expert, as you have stated, in the field of pest control; however, his wisdom,reasoning and principles are good enough for me.”If we pollute the air,water and soil that keeps us alive and well, and destroy thebiodiversity that allows natural systems to function, no amount of money will save us”.
        No argument or further discussion necessary on that statement! (at least from me)

        • TO FEFCHAK — We need a BETTER David Suzuki. He is NOT the wise and affable person projected by left-wing media. David Suzuki muzzles his own detractors by interfering in partisan politics and public policy with anti-pesticide campaigns like the one currently imposed in Manitoba. This is illegal under taxation laws. Suzuki and his organizations make enviro-profit from public donations and government grants, without paying a single penny in taxes. http://wp.me/p1jq40-1ie Suzuki does not deserve any donations or support. Nor does Suzuki deserve any tax-exempt status. It is easy for Suzuki to interfere in partisan politics and public policy when he has almost unlimited resources and millions of dollars available through public donations and government grants. Suzuki’s illegal interference in partisan politics and public policy in the Ontario 2011 general election finally raised serious questions about his foundation’s charity tax-exempt status. Consequently, Suzuki was quietly forced to step down from the board of directors of his beloved David Suzuki Foundation. This represented the ultimate humiliation for Suzuki. The public is directed to complain about Suzuki by contacting business, fund-raising, government, and taxation agencies ! Suzuki’s non-profit charity status must be investigated and revoked. Even Greenpeace has lost its charity status in several jurisdictions, including Canada. http://tinyurl.com/pn9nh45 http://tinyurl.com/okcvrl3 Suzuki must suffer the scrutiny of the media and the spotlight of Canada Revenue Agency. Everyone must complain, complain, complain. The list of complaint channels has been archived on The Pesticide Truths Web-Site … http://wp.me/p1jq40-1pe It’s time to stop making donations to David Suzuki. It’s also time to for David Suzuki to step down as host of television programs by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, including the nature of things because of his illegal interference in partisan politics and public policy, and violations of taxation laws. We need a better David Suzuki ! http://wp.me/p1jq40-7K4

          • John Fefchak

            TO WILLIAM H GATHERCOLE & NORAH G
            Here’s another David Suzuki. You probably won’t like what this one says either.
            re:WPG FREE PRESS 9 September. 2013. Have Your Say.
            Approval data incomplete

            Re: Regulated pesticides safe, effective (Sept. 5). I am a retired senior federal public servant familiar with the pesticide-approval process in Ottawa. The Pest Management Regulatory Agency of Health Canada has no labs of its own and approves pesticides on the basis of incomplete data submitted by the chemical industry.

            It is common knowledge that the PMRA is very weak in epidemiology, which means that its research and evaluations may not be fully applicable to humans.

            I very much doubt that the PMRA evaluates all pesticides, since some information is being withheld from this agency. The recent evaluation of herbicide 2,4-D could hardly be considered extensive.

            We would like to know how is the “acceptable” risk being distinguished from “unacceptable” risk? We may also ask: “acceptable or unacceptable” to whom? Obviously, sound science is an important concept, but it can be manipulated to protect vested interests.

            KAZIMIERA COTTAM

            Ottawa