Health Canada’s agency dealing with pesticides is recommending renewing use of clothianidin on potatoes, grape, pome fruits (like apples), stone fruits and turf even though the applicant chemical companies have not met conditions of their earlier registration.
Because the pesticide accumulates in pollen and nectar, the chemical companies were required back in 2009 to do a hive study to assess chronic toxicity to bees and a study of the behaviour of clothianidin in plants.
Friends of the Earth believes this research is even more important today than it was in 2009 given the dramatic die-off of Canada’s pollinators like honey bees.
“Canada’s Minister of Health should put protection of the environment and the safety of bees ahead of profits of chemical companies,” says Beatrice Olivastri, CEO, Friends of the Earth Canada. “Clothianidin should be off the market until proven safe to bees and other pollinators.”
Clothianidin is described by Health Canada as highly toxic to bees and mammals and moderately toxic to birds. It is already under increased scrutiny in its use with corn and soy bean crops in Canada where massive bee deaths have occurred. The European Union has put in place a two year ban on its use.