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article imageCanada will phase out bee-killing neonic pesticides

By Tim Sandle     Aug 17, 2018 in Environment
Toronto - In keeping with several other countries, except the U.S.., three of the most commonly used bee-killing neonics will shortly be declared officially illegal in Canada.
The Canadian government has announced plans to phase out and ban most outdoor uses of clothianidin and thiamethoxam, two bee-killing neonic pesticides. This will take place over the next three to five years. Scott Kirby, director-general of Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency has indicated that the phase-out will begin after a consultation period next year, and most uses of the chemicals will end within the three-year phase out period.
Neonicotinoids ('neonics') are a class of neuro-active insecticides chemically similar to nicotine. Neonicotinoid use has been linked in a range of studies to adverse ecological effects, according to Friends of the Earth, including honey-bee colony collapse disorder and loss of birds due to a reduction in insect populations.
In response to this decision, Angus Wong, Campaign Manager with global consumer group SumOfUs, has said: “Health Canada’s announcement to phase out bee-killing pesticides is a major victory that belongs to the people. Since the start of our campaign to ban these ecologically disastrous chemicals four years ago, thousands of Canadian residents signed petitions, sent public comments, and contacted government officials to protect the environment and bees in Canada—and it worked."
Wong added: “Although this news is a step in the right direction, we will remain vigilant and continue to work tirelessly to end the neonics crisis and resist any efforts by neonics manufacturers Bayer and Syngenta, who are guaranteed to be working hard to overturn the ban by any means necessary. These bee-killing corporations have a track record of using dirty tactics, like lawsuits in Europe, to prevent these kinds of bans."
Earlier this month, a petition from SumOfUS demanding that pharmaceutical and agricultural giant Bayer drop a lawsuit against the European Commission garnered over 150,000 signatures in less than two days. The petition came after Bayer announced it will appeal against a recent European Court of Justice verdict on neonicotinoids, which backed the partial EU ban on three bee-harming pesticides from 2013.
This move comes after an almost complete ban on three major neonicotinoid insecticides was decided in April 2018 due to the risk that imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam pose to bees.
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