Write Wild: Protect Canada's bees and pollinators

Did you know a deadly class of pesticides called neonicotinoids ("neonics") is putting bees and wild pollinators at risk? Due to their high toxicity these pesticides have already been heavily restricted in the European Union and Ontario.

A new four-year scientific study of 800 peer-reviewed papers on neonics has conclusively shown that these pesticides are a serious risk to bees, butterflies, birds and earthworms.

It's time for Canada to stop dragging its feet and take real action to protect pollinators.

Please use the letter-writing tool below to send a message to Canada's Health Minister Jane Philpott and demand a complete nation-wide ban on all bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides. 

Even if you've already written a letter, now is the time to write again! A copy of your letter will be sent to newly elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay, as well as provincial Environment Ministers across Canada.


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A few points to consider when writing your letter:

  • A growing body of scientific research has linked increases in bee deaths to these dangerous pesticides, including a September 2013 Health Canada report that said neonicotinoid residues were found in “75% of the dead bee samples,” and in “90% of the comb pollen samples”.
  • On June 25, 2014 the international Task Force on Systemic Pesticides – an international group of independent scientists – released the results of a comprehensive analysis of 800 peer-reviewed studies on neonics. This unprecedented scientific assessment confirms very harmful effects of neonics on bees and highlights serious risks to many other beneficial species, including butterflies, earthworms and birds.
  • Scientific research has also raised concerns about possible human health effects of neonics in our food and water. These pesticides may harm the human brain and nervous system, and some are suspected endocrine disrupters linked to harmful effects on reproduction.
  • The authors of the international study conclude: “…there is clear evidence of harm sufficient to trigger regulatory action.”
  • Other jurisdictions such as the European Union and Ontario have already enacted restrictions and bans on the use of certain types of neonicotinoid pesticides, recognizing the unacceptable risk that they pose to bees and other pollinators.
  • In addition to contributing to bee deaths, scientific reports show that neonicotinoids can also cause serious sub-lethal impacts to pollinators – including impaired memory, disorientation and reduced resistance to disease.
  • Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) has clearly stated that “current agricultural practices related to the use of neonicotinoid treated corn and soybean seed are affecting the environment due to their impacts on bees and other pollinators,” and recently said, “current agricultural practices related to the use of neonicotinoid treated corn and soybean seed are not sustainable." Despite these startling findings, Canadian regulations still allow for the widespread use of these toxic chemicals. 
  • Due to the serious harm that these pesticides cause to honey bees and native pollinators – and the resulting impacts on crops and wild plants – Health Canada should enact a complete nation-wide ban on all neonicotinoid pesticides.


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