CWF Welcomes Proposed Phase Out of Two Neonicotinoid Insecticides

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The Canadian Wildlife Federation (CWF) is pleased that Health Canada has proposed the phase out of two neonicotinoid insecticides.

CWF is calling on Canadians to support the proposed ban and push for further action to eliminate the impacts of neonics and give farmers alternatives as part of its ban with a plan.

“For years now, neonicotinoid (neonic) pesticides have been poisoning our pollinators and aquatic insects. There are hundreds of scientific studies that have demonstrated the serious harm of these chemicals to non-target animals. Health Canada has completed expert reviews on three of the five major neonics and in each case found the impacts severe enough to warrant an end to their use,” said David Browne, CWF director of conservation science. “Beyond banning these three chemicals, Canada needs to ensure the availability of less harmful pesticides and practices to support our farmers and sustainable food production as well as reform how it approves pesticides in the first place,” said David Browne, CWF director of conservation science.

CWF is calling for a legislated, national ban on the use of all forms of neonicotinoid pesticides in agriculture, horticulture, turf production and golf courses as seed treatments and as treatments on insect-pollinated crops. This includes crops like apples, tomatoes, and blueberries.

Under the CWF proposal, emergency use of neonics would be permitted for a limited number of years, but only under cases of severe pest outbreak and with a prescription from a certified agronomist. Phasing out the use of these chemicals is only the first step of the CWF ban with a plan which also calls for significant investment to help farmers with alternative pest control options.

Canada must also recover species impacted by neonics, including wild bees, hoverflies, other insect pollinators, aquatic insects, and species experiencing the indirect effects of neonics due to reduced food availability, such as birds, bats and fish, Browne explained.

This is critical because between 75 and 95 per cent of flowering plants rely on insect pollination and the continued decline of our pollinators could have ecosystem wide impacts, Browne said. Many of our crops rely on insect pollination, so efforts to sustain wild pollinator populations are also efforts to sustain farming in Canada.

“We want to see a bright future for the production of food in Canada, and our plan includes ensuring viable alternatives to neonics that are not harmful to wildlife. All Canadians must and can be part of the solution: this includes government, farmers, businesses, and consumers,” Browne said.

On Aug. 15 Health Canada launched a 90-day public consultation on its proposal to phase out all outdoor agricultural and turf uses for clothianidin, and all outdoor agricultural and ornamental uses for thiamethoxam in the next three to five years.

Final decisions are expected at the end of 2019. CWF’s goal is to collect 100,000 signatures on its petition for a more comprehensive ban with a plan during the public consultation period.

To learn more and sign the CWF petition visit

About the Canadian Wildlife Federation

The Canadian Wildlife Federation is a national, not-for-profit charitable organization dedicated to fostering awareness and appreciation of our natural world. By spreading knowledge of human
impacts on the environment, carrying out research, developing and delivering education programs, promoting the sustainable use of natural resources, recommending changes to policy and co-operating with like-minded partners, CWF encourages a future in which Canadians can live in harmony with nature.

For more information visit

Release source: Canadian Wildlife Federation
Photo: Maciej A. Czyzewski (cc)