Regulatory News

Editor’s Note: A recent Australian Government report on neonicotinoids and bee health approvingly quotes a Bulletin of Insectology study warning that “… many hypotheses are available on the problem of declining bee populations …. The problem is made worse by some in the media who sensationalize and report unsupported data and opinion. Such sensationalizing and the use of unsupported data are, unfortunately, not restricted to the media and can be made by scientists who report data that are not sufficiently verified, come from suspected sources, and/or fail to cite relevant research … in some published manuscripts neither the author(s), reviewer(s), [or] editor(s) were acquainted with competing literature”. The Ontario government would do well to ignore sensationalization and, instead, pay close attention to the Australian government’s conclusion that they are of the view that “the introduction of the neonicotinoids has led to an overall reduction in the risks to the agricultural environment from the application of insecticides” and that “Australian honeybee populations are not in decline, despite the increased use of this group of insecticides in agriculture and horticulture since the mid-1990s.”

AS reported in the Canadian Press

The provincial government of Ontario, Canada wants to ban the use of neonicotinoid pesticides on crops, which is suspected of killing bees. Under the proposal, farmers would have to obtain a special license to be able to use the product. Chemical industry representatives consider the measure unnecessary and bureaucratic.

In Canada, this type of pesticide, banned in Europe, is used in crops such as soybeans, canola, flowers and vegetables. Researchers claim that the product is lethal to bees and other pollinating insects. Industries are already claiming that there is no proof that neonicotinoids affect the lives of bees.

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