Pesticides

Canada must ban neonics

Neonicotinoid pesticides, also known as neonics, are the most widely used insecticides in the world. They’re primarily used to control pests on agricultural crops like corn and soy, but they are also found on Christmas trees, houseplants and more.

Since 2010, a growing body of international scientific evidence has shown neonics are dangerous to biodiversity.

Neonics have unintended and wide-reaching ecological consequences, including contributing to a decline in bee and monarch butterfly populations.

We need bees. One-third of our food supply relies on pollinators like bees. They are, along with multitude of other invertebrates, the backbone our ecosystems.

In 2013, the European Union set in place a temporary ban on the use of three neonics, and three years later France passed a landmark bill to ban neonics completely. Other countries are now making moves to ban them.

We want Canada to do the same, to join the growing global movement to ban neonics and save the bees and other pollinators.

The Canadian government is reviewing three widely used neonics. We are committed to ensuring it hears our concerns about the environmental impacts of these chemicals and implements much-needed regulations.

Why are neonics dangerous?

01

They are highly toxic, particularly to pollinators and aquatic invertebrates.

02

They are highly persistent and difficult to remove from the environment.

03

They move across environments through ground, water and air, like from agricultural fields to rivers and forests.

Other dangerous pesticides

Neonics aren’t the only dangerous pesticides used in Canada. The David Suzuki Foundation is committed to monitoring, participating in and responding to as many of Health Canada’s pesticide reviews as possible.

Many of these pesticides, like glyphosate, are already banned in other countries.

Take action now

It does look very much like the chemical companies that manufacture these pesticides have the ear of the committee. — Lisa Gue

Canada must ban neonics now

Neonics in the news

  • Environment groups back in court over pollinator-killing pesticides.
    Read the news release from July 2017
  • Health Canada announces proposal to phase out imidacloprid, one of the most widely used neonics in Canada.
    Read the news release from November 2016
  • Ontario published new regulations on use of neonics, the first jurisdiction in North America to do so. New regulations aim to reduce the use of neonic-treated corn and soy by 80 per cent by 2017.
    Read the news release from June 2015
  • David Suzuki Foundation joined allies in a lawsuit against the federal government for unlawfully shielding a review of neonics.
    Read the news release from April 2015
  • The Ontario government announced a plan to protect bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects from the harmful effects of neonics.
    Read the news release from November 2014
  • The International Task Force on Systemic Pesticides findings on the dangers of neonics is released, and the David Suzuki Foundation responds with our first action alert calling on the government to ban neonics to #savethebees. We received an incredible response. More than 90,000 people signed our action and sent emails to Canada’s environment ministers.
    Read the news release from June 2014

The Butterflyway Project

Join our citizen-led movement to grow highways of habitat for bees and butterflies through neighbourhoods in five communities in 2017.

Visit the Butterflyway website to find out more