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When the David Suzuki Foundation called for a ban on bee-killing pesticides in Canada this summer, someone was listening.

Last week the Suzuki Foundation reported that “the Ontario government became the first government in North America to announce a plan for regulations to restrict the use of seeds treated with neonicotinoid pesticides”, and that with new regulations in place for the 2016 planting season “the province of Ontario has proposed reducing the use of neonics by 80 percent by 2017.”

The call for a ban was in part based on the International Task force on Systemic Pesticides (TFSP) report in June, which stated that there is no question that neonics cause serious risks to bees and other beneficial species, such as butterflies, earthworms and birds.

The Foundation’s report this week also pointed out that research indicates neonics do not necessarily increase agricultural yields, and that Europe already has a moratorium on some neonics, the same pesticides that are in widespread use in Canada. “In the case of clothianidin, a neonics used to treat corn seeds and frequently detected in samples of dead bees,” says the report, “Canadian regulators even signed off on its re-approval last year as their European counterparts were implementing a ban.”

Over 70 thousand messages have been sent via social media to ministers in the other provincial governments reminding them of the findings of TFSP’s June report and calling for a ban on the use and sale of neonics across the country. Time will tell if the other provinces will follow Ontario’s lead.

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