Precautionary approach, support for farmers vital to neonic strategy, says NFU

(JANUARY 26, 2015, DENFIELD) – The National Farmers Union in Ontario has submitted comments on the discussion paper Pollinator Health – A Proposal for Enhancing Pollinator Health and Reducing the Use of Neonicotinoid Pesticides in Ontario. The NFU supports the Ontario government’s initiative to restrict the use of neonicotinoid seed treatment and to promote Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to address crop pest problems.
 
“The NFU in Ontario has a very diverse membership that includes both beekeepers and those who grow cash crops conventionally.As an organization we advocate for economically, socially and environmentally sustainable agricultural practices that make it possible to put the principles of food sovereignty into action,” said Karen Eatwell, NFU Region 3 Coordinator/NFU-O President.“Neonicotinoid insecticides affect our farms, our food and our environment, so this issue is important to everyone.”
 
 “Our submission reiterates our support for targeting the use of neonicotinoid-treated corn and soybean seeds to only those acres where the need can be demonstrated. We also outline some of the challenges likely to occur when implementing the proposed regulation,” explained Eatwell. “Our input provides the government with practical recommendations on how to overcome these challenges so that implementation can proceed smoothly.”
 
“Although, it is not often used in Canada, the precautionary principle is an internationally accepted approach to regulation, especially when it comes to protecting the environment,” noted Ann Slater, NFU Vice President of Policy.“The NFU supports Ontario’s willingness take a precautionary approach in its efforts to protect pollinator biodiversity.”
 
“We would like to see more public interest research and extension services devoted to IPM practices in Ontario crops,” Slater said. “For that to happen, we believe more financial resources need to be allocated to the Ontario Ministry and Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs so that it can provide on-the-ground support to farmers as they implement more IPM practices on their farms and to fulfill the requirements of the proposed regulation.”
 
The NFU-O’s full submission is posted at www.nfu.ca .
 
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For more information contact:
Karen Eatwell, NFU Region 3 Coordinator /NFU-O President: (519) 232-4105; president@nfuontario.ca
Ann Slater, NFU Vice President Policy: (519) 349-2448; aslater@quadro.net

NFU-O Submission re: Enhancing Pollinator Health and Reducing the Use of Neonicotinoid Pesticides in Ontario