Ontario Neonic Regulations Released Today

CELA Salutes Another Ontario First in Pesticide Reduction

Jun 09 2015

Toronto – The Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) is celebrating Ontario’s move today to finalize a regulation by July 1st of this year to dramatically reduce the use of neonicotinoid pesticides and help to protect pollinators.

“Not only has the Ontario government met its goal of issuing this regulating for July 1st, environmentalists and farmers have expressed support for making it work,” noted Kathleen Cooper, Senior Researcher with CELA. As quoted in the Ontario government media release, Ontario Federation of Agriculture President Don McCabe expresses the OFA’s support for successful implementation of the regulation and Ontario’s broader pollinator health strategy.

Neonicotinoid pesticides or "neonics" are a highly controversial class of pesticides implicated in a global decline of bees and other pollinator species. “Like the province-wide ban on the cosmetic use of pesticides enacted in 2009, Ontario has accomplished another first in North America – the first to regulate broad restrictions on the use of neonics in agriculture,” Cooper noted.

This regulation comes on the heels of a landmark study published in 2013 by the international Task Force on Systemic Pesticides. This independent review canvassed over 1,000 published studies about neonics finding clear evidence of lethal effects in honeybees and harm to many other pollinator species, concluding that the current widespread and indiscriminate use of neonics is unsustainable and threatens ecosystem functioning on a global scale.

The new regulation is intended to reduce by 80% the total acreage planted with neonicotinoid-treated corn and soybean seeds. Assuming the target is met by 2017, this regulation will bring about a reduction of over 3 million acres of farmland planted with neonic-treated seeds. “The government heard us during the consultation and improved the regulation by ensuring public reporting of seed sales, a key ingredient in being able to track progress towards meeting the neonic reduction target,” Cooper stated.

The amendments to Ontario Regulation 63/09 published today will take effect July 1, 2015, with some requirements being phased in over three years.

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For more information, please contact:
Kathleen Cooper, Senior Researcher 705-324-1608 kcooper@cela.ca