On March 23 the provincial Government of Ontario announced draft amendments to the Pesticides Act to reduce the use of neonicotinoid insecticides. Ontario is home to over 40 percent of Canada’s beekeepers, which have experienced winter losses as high as 50 percent. The amendments to Ontario Regulation 63/09, under the Pesticides Act would establish:
- a new class of pesticides consisting of corn and soybean seeds treated with the neonicotinoids, imidacloprid, clothianidin or thiamethoxam
- rules for the sale and use of treated seeds
- timing and implementation of the regulatory requirements.
If approved, the amendments will reduce the number of acres planted with neonicotinoid insecticide-treated corn and soybean seeds by 80 percent by 2017, and will make Ontario the first North American jurisdiction to regulate the pesticides. Organic Week organizers have written support for the bill and urges the public to engage in the public comment period before May 7 to ensure the amendments move forward.
Comment submission is available here.