HazMat Management

Ontario county bans neonicotinoid bee killer

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June 19, 2014 by Hazmat Management

 A county in southern Ontario has banned the use of neonicotinoid crop treatments, a popular insecticide that’s being blamed for the decline of the province’s bee population over the last decade. 

Following the passage of the May 27, 2014 resolution from the Prince Edward Country council, which is effective immediately, many in the major agricultural hub are looking to the province to follow suit with its own ban. At the very least, the council wants the federal government to impose a moratorium on neonicotinoids until further study can be conducted.

In 2013, the European Union imposed a two-year moratorium on the controversial insecticide that’s been linked to the decline of honey bee colonies.

In September 2013, Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency discovered neonicotinoid contaminated dust had caused severe bee mortality in Ontario and Quebec, but a final report is not expected until 2015.

An estimated 92 to 95 per cent of planted corn acres in Canada and the U.S. are coated in neonicotinoids, which are also used to protect soybeans and canola seeds.

The neonicotinoid debate is reminiscent of Ontario’s provincial ban on the cosmetic use of pesticides that started with a bylaw from the Quebec Town of Hudson in 1991. The town fought for the bylaw all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada, where it was upheld in 2001.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ordered six studies of neocotinoids that will begin in 2016.

Chemical makers Bayer AG, Syngenta AG and Dow Chemical Co. are some of the main companies behind neonicotinoids.