Associations speaking for medical doctors and nurses are urging a ban on neonicitinoid seed-treatment pesticides.
They say neonicitinoids are a major threat to the environment and people.
The two groups have launched a media campaign. They are the Canadian Association or Physicians for the Environment and the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario.
On the other side, a new coalition of agriculture groups, Farm Action Now, is defending the pesticides regulatory system and the pesticide companies say neonicitinoids are safe when used as recommended.
Others who have weighed in recently are Gord Miller, Ontario’s environment commissioner, who said they are a threat to bees and other pollinators and likened them to DDT; The European Food Safety Authority which says two neonics – acetamiprid and imidacloprid – may adversely affect the development of the human brain; and the Task Force on Systemic Pesticides which reviewed 800 research studies to conclude that the negative effects of neonics are turning up in everything from water to worms and birds.
“We are witnessing a threat to the productivity of our natural and farmed environment equivalent to that posed by organo-phosphates or DDT,” said Dr. Jean-Marc Bonmatin, one of the lead authors of the task force report.
“Far from protecting food production, the use of neonics is threatening the very infrastructure which enables it, imperiling the pollinators, habitat engineers and natural pest controllers at the heart of a functioning ecosystem.”