CWF wel­comes pro­posed phase-out of two neon­ics

Prairie Post (East Edition) - - Farm News -

The Cana­dian Wildlife Fed­er­a­tion (CWF) is pleased that Health Canada has pro­posed the phase out of two neon­i­coti­noid in­sec­ti­cides. CWF is call­ing on Cana­di­ans to sup­port the pro­posed ban and push for fur­ther ac­tion to elim­i­nate the im­pacts of neon­ics and give farm­ers al­ter­na­tives as part of its ban with a plan.

“For years now, neon­i­coti­noid (neonic) pes­ti­cides have been poi­son­ing our pol­li­na­tors and aquatic in­sects. There are hun­dreds of sci­en­tific stud­ies that have demon­strated the se­ri­ous harm of these chem­i­cals to non-tar­get an­i­mals. Health Canada has com­pleted ex­pert re­views on three of the five ma­jor neon­ics and in each case found the im­pacts se­vere enough to war­rant an end to their use," said David Browne, CWF direc­tor of con­ser­va­tion science. "Be­yond ban­ning these three chem­i­cals, Canada needs to en­sure the avail­abil­ity of less harm­ful pes­ti­cides and prac­tices to sup­port our farm­ers and sus­tain­able food pro­duc­tion as well as re­form how it ap­proves pes­ti­cides in the first place.”

CWF is call­ing for a leg­is­lated, na­tional ban on the use of all forms of neon­i­coti­noid pes­ti­cides in agri­cul­ture, hor­ti­cul­ture, turf pro­duc­tion and golf cour­ses as seed treat­ments and as treat­ments on in­sect-pol­li­nated crops. This in­cludes crops like ap­ples, toma­toes, and blue­ber­ries. Un­der the CWF pro­posal, emer­gency use of neon­ics would be per­mit­ted for a limited num­ber of years, but only un­der cases of se­vere pest out­break and with a pre­scrip­tion from a cer­ti­fied agron­o­mist. Phas­ing out the use of these chem­i­cals is only the first step of the CWF ban with a plan which also calls for sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment to help farm­ers with al­ter­na­tive pest con­trol op­tions.

Canada must also re­cover species im­pacted by neon­ics, in­clud­ing wild bees, hov­er­flies, other in­sect pol­li­na­tors, aquatic in­sects, and species ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the in­di­rect ef­fects of neon­ics due to re­duced food avail­abil­ity, such as birds, bats and fish, Browne ex­plained.

“This is crit­i­cal be­cause be­tween 75 and 95 per cent of flow­er­ing plants rely on in­sect pol­li­na­tion and the con­tin­ued de­cline of our pol­li­na­tors could have ecosys­tem wide im­pacts,” Browne said. “Many of our crops rely on in­sect pol­li­na­tion, so ef­forts to sus­tain wild pol­li­na­tor pop­u­la­tions are also ef­forts to sus­tain farm­ing in Canada.”

On Aug. 15 Health Canada launched a 90-day pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion on its pro­posal to phase out all out­door agri­cul­tural and turf uses for cloth­i­an­i­din, and all out­door agri­cul­tural and or­na­men­tal uses for thi­amethoxam in the next three to five years. Fi­nal de­ci­sions are ex­pected at the end of 2019. CWF’s goal is to col­lect 100,000 sig­na­tures on its pe­ti­tion for a more com­pre­hen­sive ban with a plan dur­ing the pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion period.

To learn more and sign the CWF pe­ti­tion visit BanWithAPl­an.org.

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