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article imagePublic on board as Ontario rescues honey-bees with pesticide laws

By Marcus Hondro     Mar 6, 2015 in Science
The use of neonicotinoid pesticides on crops in Ontario will soon be reduced dramatically and the public is happy about it. Feedback has been overwhelmingly in favor of restricting neonics, which endanger honey-bees, other creatures and water and soil.
Ontario invited feedback on their proposal to become the first government in North America to impose restrictions on the neonicotinoid pesticides, used on a variety of crops all over North America including canola, corn, cotton, sorghum, soybeans and sugar beets.
Science has linked high-death rates among honey-bees and other bees to neonicotinoid pesticides and to harming other species, such as birds, butterflies, even earthworms. Environmentalist David Suzuki said they also damage water and soil and he believes they should be phased out of usage everywhere.
More than 50,000 responses were received by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs on their proposal to reduce neonic-treated corn and soybean seeds in the province by 80 percent. Some 97 percent of the feedback supported the ministry's proposal to do so.
While last year the European Commission imposed heavy restrictions on neonicotinoid pesticides, similar restrictions have yet to be proposed in Canada or the United States.
“We know there is sound science and strong public support behind protecting pollinators with tough, timely action on neonics," Lisa Gue of the David Suzuki Foundation said. "But to see this level of participation and near-consensus in public comments is extraordinary."
Other groups, such as the Ontario Beekeepers’ Association and the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment have conducted polls and found a large majority of Canadians want restrictions on neonics. The proposed restrictions are slated to come into law on July 1 of this year, with a second round of consultation to take place in the spring.
The pesticide industry is opposing the restrictions.
More about neonicotinoid pesticides, neonic restrictions, saving honeybees
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