Quick Start On Ontario Bee Health Promise

Congratulations to Agriculture Minister Jeff Leal – he’s fast out of the gate on the Government’s election promise to restrict use of neonicotinoids. Friends of the Earth is pleased to see Ontario move on neonics.

The Minister is planning a licensing system to be in place by Fall 2014 that limits the blanket use of the neonics for crops. The proposed system should reverse the blanket use of neonics in fields in Ontario.

However, we urge the new Minister to consider moving further faster. Save the complications of a licensing system and bring in a ban on neonic use until the federal government’s review is completed and assessed. Instead of investing in red tape for licensing, invest in supporting farmers to move to organics and alternative controls.

Gardeners Beware1A lot has happened in a very short time since the election promise was made. Friends of the Earth released Gardeners Beware exposing the use of neonics in nursery plants in Canada and the United States. The recent Task Force on Systemic Pesticides report from 50 international scientists provides compelling support to act on a comprehensive ban.

Such a ban would highlight Ontario leadership and ensure ongoing pressure on Health Canada to accelerate their assessment. Such a ban would also address so called “minor use” that allows neonics to be used on nursery plants and other horticultural products.

Based on our recent poll, Friends of the Earth believes Ontario residents are keen to see comprehensive action on neonics. We asked 1,000 residents of Ontario about the bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides and the results are overwhelming.

Almost 80 per cent of residents are concerned about neonics killing honey bees. Eighty-three per cent support farmers having the option to purchase non-coated seed. And a whopping eighty-five percent want gardeners to be able to buy plants that are free of neonics.

So, let’s keep going Ontario. Be the first province to bring in a ban on neonics.   

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