Wednesday, April 20, 2016

GFO loses neonic appeal

Grain Farmers of Ontario has lost its appeal against provincial government regulations sharply restricting the use of neonicitinoid seed treatment pesticides.

The judges unanimously ruled that the appeal fails because the issue is not how the regulations are interpreted; the GFO concern is really about the legislation.

It means that corn and soybean growers in particular will face three years of progressively-tighter restrictions. They will basically need to prove their fields are infested with insects and they need neonicitinoid seed treatment to save their crops.

The GFO has taken the battle to Queen’s Park and then the courts, but the regulations also impact many others, including the companies that market seeds to homeowners who grow vegetables and flowers.

The reason the provincial politicians passed the legislation is concerns raised by beekeepers that neonicitinoids are killing bees.

Researchers have more recently reported that neonicitinoids disorient bees so they fail to find their way back to hives and to revisit flower sites.

The GFO has announced now that it is hiring BDO to calculate and continue to track the financial impact of the neonic regulations on farmers.