Sierra Club Applauds Neonicotinoid Pesticide Phase-Out, Calls for Fast Action to Protect Bees

OTTAWA, ON, August 15, 2018 – Sierra Club welcomes the ban of dangerous neonicotinoid pesticides, announced today by Health Canada, and urges a more rapid phase-out than the proposed three-year timeline. Health Canada announced today it was phasing out two of the more commonly used neonicotinoid pesticides.
Neonicotinoids contain neurotoxins that affect insect life. Concerns about impacts on pollinators, especially bees, has mobilized Canadians to stop the use of these chemicals.
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Last year, the international body devoted to protecting global biodiversity, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) released a review of over 1,100 peer-reviewed scientific studies, concluding there is no doubt neonicotinoids harm bees.

Health Canada’s own research found that impacts on aquatic insects, often vital to food webs – including fish and birds – are threatened by harmful levels of at least one of these chemicals found in the environment. And because insects are the most diverse known form of life on the planet, impacts on insects should raise alarm for global biodiversity.

“The scientific evidence that these pesticides were hurting pollinators and aquatic life is overwhelming and alarming,” according to Sierra Club Canada Foundation National Program Director Gretchen Fitzgerald. This evidence is being taken seriously by Health Canada, and we applaud them for taking action. We are breathing a sigh of relief today, but hope Health Canada will move quickly to make sure use is stopped sooner than their 2021 deadline.”
“For years, our supporters have pushed for the rapid ban of these pesticides,” according to Fitzgerald. “I can only hope that the damage we have already seen caused by neonics – and the resulting massive public concern – will result in reform for how we approve such pesticides in the first place.”
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