Europe banned neonics in 2018. Canada needs to pick up the pace to protect biodiversity!
Good news: After more than half a decade of foot-dragging, Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency has at last proposed to phase out most uses of the three main neonicotinoid pesticides: imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam.
While neonics are notoriously toxic to bees, they can also harm other beneficial organisms, including aquatic insects like mayflies, which are an important link in the food chain. In August 2018, the PMRA published the results of its most recent neonic evaluations — the special reviews of clothianidin and thiamethoxam — which concluded that these chemicals are polluting Canadian waters at levels harmful to aquatic insects. In 2016, the PMRA evaluated imidacloprid and also proposed to phase it out because of aquatic risks.
Bad news: PMRA wants to allow the use of neonics to continue for another three to five years until the phase-out is complete. This lax timeline prolongs risks in Canada long after Europe stopped using neonics.
The European Union now bans all outdoor uses of the three main neonics, following a 2018 report from its scientific risk assessment authority confirming serious danger to honeybees and wild bees.
Canada is moving in the right direction with the proposal to phase out neonics but is taking too long to get there.
Federal Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor is responsible for the PMRA and pesticide regulation in Canada. Several reviews are underway examining risks from neonics, with key decisions expected in the coming months.
With your help, we are making a difference. Let’s continue to send a strong message to Canadian decision-makers: Canada should ban bee-killing neonics now!