Last November, Health Canada announced its intention to ban the use of Bayer’s imidacloprid, one of the world’s most widely used neonicotinoid pesticides. We think this could be an important Canadian win on the world stage – after four years of campaigning, we can almost taste victory.
Our excitement was muted by the proposal to allow this pesticide to remain on the market for a further three years or even as much as five years in some cases – so the proposal is for a “slow motion ban”.
That’s right, three more years of poisoning. But, with your help, there is still time to fix this schedule.
The intention to ban imidacloprid was based on science. PMRA reported “…in aquatic environments in Canada, imidacloprid is being measured at levels that are harmful to to aquatic insects. These insects are an important part of the ecosystem, including as a food source for fish, birds and animals.” Imidacloprid was found in waterways and PMRA cannot explain how it got there so it made the correct decision to ban it.
By now you’re probably wondering about the bees – PMRA still hasn’t finished their re-evaluation of this same pesticide’s impact on bees but they can’t wait to act because they know imidacloprid is dangerous to aquatic insects, soil dwelling organisms, beneficial arthropods, birds and small, wild mammals.
The proposal to wait three years for the ban to take effect is not based on science at all. The language of the proposal makes it pretty clear a three year phase-out is about pleasing pesticide manufacturers – not about protecting the environment. PMRA is required to demand the same kind of verifiable facts and figures to economic arguments as it does to chemistry and biology.
There is no rationale for the three year phase out other than convenience for the makers and users of imidacloprid. PMRA is required to abide by the Precautionary Principle which gives the benefit of the doubt to protecting the environment and public health over economic concerns.
There’s no time to lose. We only have until February 21 to change Health Canada’s ban schedule.
Please join us in demanding an immediate ban on the use of imidacloprid.