OTTAWA, ON--(Marketwired - November 24, 2016) - The Canadian Wildlife Federation (CWF) applauds Health Canada for its proposed ban of the neonicotinoid pesticide imidacloprid.
"This is a big step in the right direction," said Dr. Carolyn Callaghan, conservation biologist with the Canadian Wildlife Federation. "Imidacloprid is one of the most widely used pesticides and has been found in aquatic environments in Canada at concentrations of up to 290 times the acceptable level for aquatic invertebrates. This is very concerning, and proposing a ban on its use is the appropriate decision given the evidence of harm."
Managing pesticide use and its impacts requires a high level of diligence, scientific rigour, and the will of governments to protect our wildlife from negative impacts of these pesticides. Health Canada has weighed the evidence of harm for one of the class of systemic pesticides known as neonicotinoids and decided that its use causes an unacceptable risk to aquatic invertebrates.
"These pesticides seep into streams and lakes from farmer's fields, and kill aquatic insects, many of which are a very important food source for fish as well as birds once they hatch into flying adults," Callaghan said.
Health Canada's draft risk assessment for imidacloprid is now available for public review. There will be a 90-day consultation period.
CWF would like to see Health Canada do more to protect our biodiversity from neonicotinoid pesticides, of which imidacloprid is only one of nine. Health Canada is launching special reviews of two other neonicotinoids. These pesticides have become infamous for impacting pollinators around the world.
While protection of the environment is paramount, the Canadian Wildlife Federation also wants assurance that our farmers are supported throughout the banning process, some of whom may feel that the proposed ban will truncate their options to deal with pests.
"Agricultural departments across Canada should support our famers by boosting their capacity to provide agricultural extension, particularly in the area of integrated pest management," said Callaghan. "The next phase of our federal agricultural policy framework, Growing Forward 3, is an excellent opportunity to address this deficiency."
For more information, please visit CanadianWildlifeFederation.ca.
About the Canadian Wildlife Federation
The Canadian Wildlife Federation is a national not-for-profit charitable organization dedicated to ensuring an appreciation of our natural world and a lasting legacy of healthy wildlife and habitat. By spreading knowledge of human impacts on the environment, developing and delivering educational programs, sponsoring research, promoting the sustainable use of natural resources, recommending policy changes and co-operating with like-minded partners, CWF encourages a future in which Canadians can live in harmony with nature. For more information, visit CanadianWildlifeFederation.ca