Rife with bias

Dear editor:
Re: Pesticides are killing more than bees [an article by Mia Rabson of the Canadian Press that appeared in the Sept. 19 edition of the Daily Bulletin].
Pesticide development and regulations are complex–they are this way because both developers and regulators are aware of the importance of ensuring the tools used to protect our food from insects, weeds, and diseases are both safe and effective.
In recent years, we have seen many other attempts to vilify neonicotinoids and each time we get beyond just scratching the surface of claims like [Jean-Marc] Bonmatin’s, it becomes apparent the claims are rife with bias and misinformation.
Neonics, like all pesticides, are researched extensively to ensure the potential environmental impacts are thoroughly understood. Before any pesticide can be sold in Canada, it must be approved by Health Canada.
Canada’s regulatory process is stringent and world-renowned, and ensures pesticides are safe for both people and the environment.
Following France’s lead on regulations would spell sure disaster for Canadian farmers because we quickly would see their ability to produce healthy crops significantly reduced, which would be a real risk to our food supplies.
The implications of that would be higher costs for consumers, harsher demands on the environment, and a reduced ability to support Canada’s economy through a robust export market.
And if honey bee numbers are anything to go by, France’s decision to ban neonics hasn’t had any appreciable impact on biodiversity. In France, honey bee numbers continue to fall while here is Canada, where neonics are still available, honey bee numbers are at an all-time high.
According to the Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists, bee colonies increased by 27 percent from 2007-16.
Just as we need bees, farmers need tools like pesticides to provide us with safe, high-quality foods while ensuring our environment is protected for future generations.
Pierre Petelle
CropLife Canada