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Barlow calls for a ban on neonicotinoid insecticides

Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow has Tweeted:

Neonicotinoids are controversial pesticides sold by the European-based corporations Bayer and Sygenta. Corn, soy and canola seeds are coated with these pesticides to stop insects from damaging them before they grow, but the pesticides are highly lethal to bees. 

In 2012 alone, 37 million bees were found dead in Ontario. The Canadian Honey Council says that the bee population in Canada has dropped by an estimated 35 per cent over the past three years.

Aljazeera has reported, “Scientists have linked the drastic declines in honey bees and other pollinators (in the United States) to neonicotinoids, like sulfoxaflor, which the US Environmental Protection Agency has determined to be ‘very highly toxic’ to bees.”

“The disturbing trend of bee deaths, known as Colony Collapse Disorder, has led to mass die-offs of pollinators in recent years and could cause an agricultural disaster. Without pollinators, many fruits and vegetables, such as apples, cucumbers, broccoli, onions and almonds, will also disappear. …There are dozens of neonicotinoid pesticide products, and they are used on approximately 75 percent of all acres planted with food crops –commercial and residential – in the U.S., and on 95 percent of all U.S. corn.”

In April 2013, the European Union approved a two-year neonicotinoid ban. Late last year, the Council of Canadians supported the call from the Friends of Pollinators Action Coalition and the Ontario Beekeepers’ Association demanding that the Ontario government also ban the use of neonicotinoid pesticides. That petition now has 53,463 signatures on it.

To sign the petition, please click here.

Follow Maude Barlow on Twitter at @MaudeBarlow