Ottawa, ON – Environmental Defence appeared as an expert witness before the House of Commons’ Standing Committee on Health statutory review of the Pest Control Products Act yesterday to highlight the negative impacts conditional registrations can potentially have on the environment and wildlife.
Bees in Canada are under threat and action is needed more than ever to save them and our food sources. Neonicotinoid pesticides, AKA neonics, are implicated in large scale bee deaths. The Government of Ontario has also found the scientific evidence to be sufficient to warrant action to restrict the use of neonics in order to protect our crucial pollinators.
We have identified a way the Act can be better implemented by the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) to better protect bees and our environment.
As part of current regulations, pest control products can be registered for use, on condition that additional scientific data is gathered to prove they’re safe for wide use. The problem is that certain products, notably neonics, are having registrations repeatedly renewed without the requested data being provided. We find this to be very concerning given the potential negative impacts these products can have on the environment and human health.
The PMRA has repeatedly renewed the conditional registration on the neonic clothianidin despite the fact that chronic toxicity data has not been provided and the number of bees is plummeting.
Conducting sound research takes time, and it is possible that in some cases requests for extensions can be made, in light of challenges gathering data. But reasonable limits must be set, in order to prevent pest control products from inflicting damage on the environment and potentially the greater food web.
We cannot keep waiting for further data to be provided while insects we all rely on continue to be harmed.
About ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is Canada’s most effective environmental action organization. We challenge, and inspire change in government, business and people to ensure a greener, healthier and prosperous life for all.
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For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Jen Mayville, Environmental Defence, 416-323-9521 ext. 228; 905-330-0172 (cell); jmayville@environmentaldefence.ca.