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New study should convince government to ban bee killing pesticide

In Agriculture
Nov 28th, 2013

Sierra Club Canada MEDIA RELEASE

OTTAWA — New information from a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America should be enough to convince Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency to recommend a ban on bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides.

The study conducted by a group of Italian researchers describes the molecular mechanism through which clothianidin (trade name for a neonicotinoid pesticide) adversely affects the insect immune response and promotes replication of a viral pathogen in honey bees bearing covert infections.

“This helps explain how the pesticide damages the immune systems of bees and destroys their ability to fight disease. It is important new evidence that helps explain the devastating impact these pesticides have had on bee populations. It’s an important piece of the puzzle that has been missing until now,” said John Bennett of Sierra Club Canada.

The Pest Management Regulatory Agency has invited the public to comment on its policy of allowing the massive use of neonicotinoid pesticides in Canada. The chemical industry is sponsoring a campaign urging farmers to support the use of the pesticides.

The comment period closes December 12th.

“If the PMRA relies on scientific evidence, it will ban these pesticides as the the European Union has done,” said Mr. Bennett. “We are relying on science and millions of dead bees to make our argument.” The pesticide industry lobby group, CropLife, has recently hired long-time Conservative MP, Ted Menzies — we believe to lead its lobbying drive to keep bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides on the market.

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