NFU wants neonicotinoids banned for five years

The National Farmers Union wants Health Canada to follow the precautionary principle and impose a five year moratorium on neonicotinoid seed treatments.

Ontario farmer and NFU director Nathan Carey said today that the moratorium is necessary because neonicotinoids are a threat to bees and natural ecosystems.

“In calling for a five year moratorium on the use of neonicotinoid seed treatments for field crops, the NFU is recommending that the PMRA (Pest Management Regulatory Agency) invoke the precautionary principle, which calls on public authorities to prevent irreversible harm when it is within their power to do so, even when scientific certainty is incomplete.”

The NFU said the moratorium would provide the necessary time to study the impacts on neonicotinoids on “broader agricultural and natural ecosystems” and consider alternative farming practices.

With its stance, the NFU joins the Ontario Beekeepers’ Association, Federation Des Apiculteurs Du Quebec, the David Suzuki Foundation and the Sierra Club of Canada in calling for a neonic ban in Canada.

In September, the PMRA announced that treating corn and soybean seed with neonicotinoids is not sustainable. The agency determined that insecticide-laden dust during spring planting had killed bees at hundreds of bee yards across Ontario in 2012 and 2013.

The PMRA proposed several measures to minimize the risk to bees, including use of a new seed lubricant to reduce the amount of dust from corn planters.

The NFU said the proposed changes are insufficient.

“The protective measures proposed by the PMRA, such as enhanced labelling, appear to be another instance of our federal government acting in the interest of agro-chemical and seed companies, rather than in the interest of Canadians and our environment,” said Ann Slater, NFU vice-president of policy and a farmer near St. Marys, Ont.

In addition to NFU’s plea for a Canadian moratorium, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) said today that imidacloprid, a type of neonicotinoid widely used as a seed treatment, may adversely affect the human brain.

EFSA scientists are recommending that acceptable exposure levels be lowered for imidacloprid and acetamiprid, another neonicotinoid.

“(Scientists) found that acetamiprid and imidacloprid may adversely affect the development of neurons and brain structures associated with functions such as learning and memory,” it said.

“Some current guidance levels for acceptable exposure to acetamiprid and imidacloprid may not be protective enough to safeguard against developmental neurotoxicity and should be reduced.”

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  1. I wish you the very best to the National Farmers Union,Ontario Beekeepers’ Association, Federation Des Apriculteurs Du Quebec,the David Suzuki Foundation,and the Sierra Club of Canada, in your battle to save our bees from extinction.
    Bayer Crop Canada and the other agrochemical and seed companies constantly lobby these government agencies (Health Canada and Pest Management Regulatory Agency) to make sure their vested interests are protected and furthered, at any cost.
    The information Health Canada and PMRA receive from these companies is, more often than not, biased and incomplete.
    I hope our rights and values, as Canadian citizens, will be protected, along with our hard working little bees. That’s what our government is supposed to do for us. Protect us and keep us free from dominators.
    The mission of these corps is to dominate the agriculture sector and make money,at our expense. Just think of all the new products they can sell the farmers if the bees aren’t around anymore to pollinate..
    A corporation has no moral compass. It is only beholding to its shareholders.
    The health and well being of our families,animals, pollinators, waterways and soil are at stake here. In this world of corporate dominion we must be vigilant or risk losing everything we cherish.
    I hope Health Canada and PMRA do the right thing or “”we will be back” again and again until they do.
    By the way, where they have wiped out their pollinators, they must hire people to hand-pollinate the fruit trees. Now that must be costly!


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