Canada must move from laggard to leader and ban neonics in 2018

Joint statement of the David Suzuki Foundation and Équiterre

OTTAWA — Hundreds of scientists from around the world have issued an open letter to global policy-makers calling for immediate action on neonicotinoid pesticides (“neonics”), a class of pesticides that poses a threat to pollinator insects and ecosystems. The letter is published online today in the journal Science. Canada should respond decisively with a commitment to ban neonics by the end of 2018.

The scientists write, “The balance of evidence strongly suggests that these chemicals are harming beneficial insects and contributing to the current massive loss of global biodiversity.” They call for immediate national and international action to greatly restrict the use of neonics and prevent registration of similarly harmful agrochemicals in the future.

Neonics are among the most widely used insecticides in Canada and around the world. Pervasive neonics-driven environmental contamination is a growing cause for concern.

Last month, the European Commission voted to ban all outdoor agricultural uses of neonics by the end of 2018. In contrast, Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency has yet to introduce any parallel regulatory restrictions. The PMRA proposed to phase out one neonic, imidacloprid, but not until 2021 at the earliest. In December 2017, the PMRA proposed to continue registration of the other two most commonly used neonics with only minor restrictions on their use.

Meanwhile, a 2018 global research review proves that less toxic alternatives for pest management are affordable and effective.

Canada must move from laggard to leader and end the use of neonics while supporting efforts for a global ban.

– 30 –

The scientists’ letter is available here and is published in the June 1, 2018, edition of the journal Science, available online at

For more information, please contact:

Brendan Glauser, David Suzuki Foundation,, 604-356-8829

Camille Gagné-Raynauld, Équiterre,, 514- 605- 2000