Thank you for sending your letter to the Honourable Ginette Petipas Taylor, Minister of Health. Take a look at the fact sheet below to learn more about the use of Clothianidin and Thiamethoxam – and don’t forget to share with friends, family and colleagues so they can share their voices too!

Friends of the Earth Canada welcomes the proposed decision by Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency to end outdoor use of Clothianidin and Thiamethoxam, two of the most widely used neonicotinoid pesticides in the world.

While neonics are notoriously toxic to bees, they can also harm other beneficial organisms, including aquatic insects like mayflies and marine invertebrates like the Americamysis bahia, a shrimp-like crustacean, both important links in the food chain as food for fish and birds.

These two neonics are used in Canada by commercial applicators and growers to manage insects on a large number of agricultural crops: Cereals and grains, Legumes, pulses (such as beans, chickpeas, lentils and peas), Oilseeds, Horticultural crops, specialty crops, Orchard and berry crops. Other uses include: Greenhouse uses, outdoor ornamentals (thiamethoxam), Turf (clothianidin).

This proposed decision, along with the 2016 proposed decision on imidicloprid, brings Canada in line with the European Union which banned the pesticides in April this year after a moratorium on their use since 2013.

The proposed decisions are based on unacceptable residues in our water and their impact on aquatic invertebrates; PMRA has not yet finished the bee impact studies on these two neonics.

Despite the high levels of Clothianidin and Thiamethoxam found in waters, PMRA is proposing a 3 to 5 year phase-out rather than an immediate ban. The European Union has seen marginal impact on agricultural production since it stopped the use of neonicotinoid pesticides in 2013. A number of other studies have concluded the prophylactic use of neonicotinoids has little impact on yields.

Friends of the Earths position is that three to five years is too long to allow pesticide pollution to continue. PMRA is putting the economic interests of multinational corporations before the safety of our environment. Our environmental security requires an immediate halt to the use of these pesticides.

Friends of the Earth is one of four environmental groups represented by Ecojustice in the upcoming November 2018 hearing against PMRA where we are asking the court to rule that the PMRA’s “approve first, study the science later” approach is unlawful and that the practice of granting approvals without science cannot continue.

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