Toronto, ON – Today, the Ontario government released its draft regulation on how it intends to protect bees and other pollinators from neonics, a group of pesticides. Environmental Defence applauds the province for showing leadership on this issue.
Scientists agree that neonics are toxic to bees, birds, and ecosystems. Scientific studies also show that, in most cases, neonicotinoid treatments are no more effective when it comes to insect control, compared to plants not treated with the chemicals. 
Ontarians have been loud and clear that they support smarter rules on the use of neonics. More than 50,000 Ontarians submitted comments during the first comment period this winter, and 97 per cent were in support of the new regulations. The province has listened to scientists and heard the public’s concerns, and has decided to act. 
The proposed regulations are reasonable and will go a long way in protecting the health of pollinators. They will restrict the use of neonics by 80 per cent by 2017, describe neonicotinoid-coated seeds as a new class of pesticides, and strengthen the rules on the sale and use of neonics. They would also require a reduction in the use of neonics over a two year period, allowing farmers to adjust and obtain non-treated seed stock.
There is a 45 day period for the public to provide feedback on the specific regulations and Ontarians are encouraged to submit their comments.
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