Statement by Environmental Defence’s Maggie MacDonald on the planned federal imidacloprid ban

TORONTO, ON – We applaud the federal government’s decision to take action and to ban harmful imidacloprid – one of the most commonly used neonic pesticide. This is a major step forward to protect pollinators and other insects. However, we urge the government to speed up the phase-out as the planned three to five year timeline would allow continued harm to Canada’s wildlife.

The federal government’s review confirms recent research that imidacloprid damages aquatic ecosystems, especially aquatic insects. As neonic pesticides are soluble in water, they run off into local waterways and damage insect populations at previously unknown levels. These devastating findings are in addition to the mounting scientific evidence on how imidacloprid and other neonic pesticides harm the health of bees in disastrous ways.

The proposed risk management for imidacloprid would see the pesticide phased out over the course of three years and even five years in cases where no alternative pesticide exists. This timeline is unnecessarily long; the federal government must accelerate the phase-out to prevent further harm to aquatic wildlife and pollinators.

We look forward to working with the government on a sped up timeline for imidacloprid. To end the threat of neonic pesticides to Canada’s environment, we also need federal bans on other neonicotinoids like thiamethoxam and clothianidin.

Today’s federal announcement follows last year’s action by the Province of Ontario to restrict the use of neonics as the first jurisdiction in North America.

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For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Tim Ehlich, Environmental Defence, 416-323-9521, ext. 223, 647-468-3641 (cell);