NFU: Neonicotinoids under review

NFU: Neonicotinoids under review

Postby Oscar » Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:01 am

Neonicotinoids under review: PMRA proposes phase‐out of imidacloprid and launches review of clothianidin or thiamethoxam

[ ... 202017.pdf ]

March 2017 - Page 4

In November 2016, Health Canada’s pesticide regulator, the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), announced it had completed its re‐evaluation of imidacloprid and as a result, proposes a three to five year phase out of the chemical’s agricultural uses. It also announced a special review of clothianidin and thiamethoxam, both neonicotinoid pesticides.

At the 2013 NFU national convention the NFU called for a five‐year moratorium on the use of neonicotinoid seed treatment for field crops and asked Health Canada to complete and publicize independent scientific studies on the effects of neonicotinoids on honeybees, wild pollinators, and other species (including humans) before lifting any moratorium. Thus, the NFU was pleased to submit a statement in support of the PMRA’s proposed phase‐out of imidacloprid.

The following is the NFU’s submission to the Pest Management Regulatory Agency regarding Proposed Re‐evaluation Decision PRVD2016‐20, Imidacloprid: among other things. The continued use of imidacloprid threatens the biodiversity of Canada’s countryside, weakening this natural biological control system.

The NFU calls for the precautionary principle to be applied in the regulation of farm chemicals to protect biodiversity, the long‐term productivity of the soil, and the safety and purity of surface and ground water. The Pest Control Products Act, Section 20, empowers the Minister to amend or rescind the registration of a pesticide based on the precautionary principle. The Act’s definition of the precautionary principle is: “Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost effective measures to prevent adverse health impact or environmental degradation.”

The NFU also promotes using Food Sovereignty ‐ the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems ‐ as the framework for Canada’s agriculture and food policies. One of the seven pillars of Food Sovereignty is to work with nature by optimizing the contributions of ecosystems and as a way to improve the resilience of our food system.

The proposed regulatory decision would phase out over three to five years, all outdoor agricultural, ornamental, turf and tree uses (except tree injection uses) and greenhouse uses of imidacloprid insecticide, and would restrict its use to very limited applications such as flea treatment for pets and injection of trees for control of emerald‐ash borer. The decision would also implement additional precautionary measures to protect human and ecosystem health during the phase‐out period. We believe this proposed decision is a positive step and we fully support it.

We also urge the PMRA to implement effective monitoring and enforcement to ensure compliance with the new label restrictions during the phase‐out period.

We urge Health Canada to work with Environment Canada and Agriculture and Agri‐Food Canada to promote alternative, less toxic insecticides and nonchemical agriculture techniques for the management of insect pests in general, with a focus on the crops currently using imidacloprid.

We strongly encourage federal and provincial governments to assist farmers in adopting such products and methods in order to reduce the quantity of toxic agricultural chemicals being applied.
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