Sunday, May 12, 2013

Ban Neonicotinoids in Canada


     After years of protests by beekeepers and concerned citizens throughout Europe the European Union has  formally recognized the neonicotinoid family of insecticides as "high acute risks" for bees and as of December 1st their use will be severely restricted.  Bees’ contribution to European agriculture is evaluated at $29 billion annually.
     The neonicotinoids Imidacloprid, Clothianidin and Thiamethoxam attack the bees' nervous system and are responsible for deaths of thousands of colonies of bees throughout the world (Neonicotinoid Pesticides).  Canadian beekeepers have felt that loss particularly in Ontario (Neonicotinoids kill bees in Ontario and Pesticide suspect in bee deaths). Due to the level of corruption that exists in U.S and Canadian governments it is very difficult to get any action taken against the agrochemical corporations which control the government agencies through massive campaign contributions.  Most people are unaware that the Agrochemical corporations can introduce any chemical to the market (conditional release) with minimal small scale, short term testing carried out by testing companies that rely on Agrochemical funding to exist (conflict of interest).  The government does no testing of these products.  For information on the effects of insecticides on bees got to the Insecticides and Bees section of our Beekeepers' Library.
     Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party of Canada is urging Harper's Conservatives to follow the European Commission’s lead and ban the neonicotinoid pesticides.  

     “I believe the precautionary principle should guide our action here. Canada can stand up to the chemical industry. It’s a matter of political will,” said Green Leader Elizabeth May, Member of Parliament for Saanich-Gulf Islands.

     “Neonicotinoids are another example of the negative long-term consequences of pesticides. Any advantage to individual crops is wiped out by the massive destruction of crop pollinators across the country and the resulting drop in productivity of many of our food crops,” said Kate Storey, Green Party’s Agriculture Critic.  “It would be economically smarter to ban neonicotinoids and put research into organic ways of working with nature,” added Storey.

     I think everyone in Canada knows what Prime Minister Harper's response will be considering his record of disregard for environmental issues (Kyoto, Environment Canada's budget cuts, Silencing Canadian Scientists (ie. global warming, effects of salmon farms on native stocks), the tar sands, Keystone Pipeline ...).  Hopefully, with his popularity declining in an effort to look more "earth friendly" he may act on this issue.

     Help Elizabeth May and the Green Party convince the Canadian Government to follow Europe’s lead and ban the use of neonicotinoids in Canada.  Sign the petition here, or download it, have as many people as possible to sign it, and mail it – postage free – to either her Ottawa or Sidney offices. With as few as 25 signatures, Elizabeth can present your petition to the government in the House of Commons.





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