Make pesticide companies release bee death studies or ban their products, Health Canada told

Wednesday, April 09, 2014 by: L.J. Devon, Staff Writer
Tags: pesticide companies, bee deaths, Health Canada

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(NaturalNews) The natural ecosystem on Earth is being chemically engineered as pesticides pour into the environment, year after year. As crops soak up the pesticides into their roots, stems, flowers and pollen, wildlife is put at risk.

Tiny and slight, insects are directly impacted by these chemicals as they pollinate. Over time, this toxicity wears on these important pollinators, causing their biology to shut down. Consequently, massive bee deaths have been reported on consistently at rural farms in Canada's Ontario and Quebec provinces. The devastation is now seen at the farm level and is being linked to neonicotinoid-based pesticides like clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam.

As pollinators die off, environmentalist groups in Canada have begun to pressure the regulatory agency Health Canada, telling the agency to require pesticide manufacturers to release bee death studies or have their products banned.

In 2013, a European commission introduced a comprehensive ban on the DDT-like neonicotinoid-based pesticides clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam. Scientific studies linking these chemicals to declining bee populations prompted the European Commission to take action. According to The Guardian, drenching seeds in these pesticides causes crops to absorb 1.6% to 20% of the chemical, as it passes into the pollen.

The pollen is then taken up by pollinators like bees, hoverflies, butterflies, moths and beetles, as the chemicals begin to wreak havoc on the insects' biology.

50 percent of honey bees die off when exposed to 5 nanograms of neonicotinoids

As honey bees move about, they can be exposed to immeasurable amounts of pesticides. According to The Guardian, lab tests show that when honey bees are exposed to just 5 nanograms of neonicotinoids, about 50 percent die.

As these pesticides are unleashed year after year, the exposures compound and the bee die-off rate increases. It's now apparent that a mass bee die-off is happening in America as well. This is having a sweeping effect, as beneficial crops like apples, blueberries and cucumbers lose the pollinators needed to keep their nutritious species abounding.

Meanwhile, subsidized GMO soybean and corn crops are encouraged, as prairies and wildflower populations are wiped out and replaced. This leaves bees in a desert of dwindling pollination resources.

Health Canada pressured to take action as massive bee deaths reported

Health Canada publicized a report in 2013 that showed toxicology information on dead bee samples collected throughout Ottawa.

"Residues of neonicotinoid insecticides were detected in samples from approximately 80 [percent] of the beekeepers for which samples have been analyzed," Health Canada reported.

In conjunction, the residues discovered in the dead bee samples matched the neonicotinoids used on the area's corn and soybean seeds. Health Canada has been requesting pesticide manufacturers to provide safety studies for 10 years now, but they have been ignored.

With the information now public, however, four major environmental groups are turning up the heat, calling on Health Canada to ban the pesticides if the companies cannot release bee death studies.

John Bennett of Sierra Club Canada Foundation met with farmers who are becoming alarmed over recent bee die-offs. He has suggested that Health Canada listen to the people and go after the manufacturers of these neonicontinoid-based pesticides.

Speaking at an Ottawa news conference, Bennett reported, "It's the beekeepers who are supplying the evidence (of toxicity). But their dead bees are being ignored."

Canada's Health Minister, Rona Ambrose, received a letter from the four environmental groups, which include the Sierra Club, the David Suzuki Foundation, the Wilderness Committee and Equiterre. All are calling for action.

In the wake of mounting pressure, Health Canada now expects pesticide manufactures to release bee death study results by 2015, at the earliest, but as the situation worsens for ecosystems and wildlife, all those concerned must wait and hope that new Canadian pesticide safety studies will be conducted and will be honest.

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