Leaked report says a ban on bee-killing pesticides will have little impact on industry

MEDIA RELEASE / May 22, 2015

OTTAWA – A leaked report from Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) will make banning bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides a lot easier.

An economic analysis of the use of neonicotinoids on soy and corn crops shows a very tiny benefit to a very few farmers. Corn growers in some parts of Ontario may be seeing an economic benefit of only 3.6% while soy planters see almost no benefit (0.4%). These numbers are orders of magnitude lower than the doomsday predictions of the agro-chemical industry.

“Banning neonicotinoid pesticides will have almost no impact on corn and soy production, and the vast majority of farmers will actually make more money not using them,” said John Bennett, National Program Director, Sierra Club Canada Foundation.

Neonicotinoid pesticides are used indiscriminately on almost all corn and soy crops in Canada. They are applied to the seeds before planting and the poison is absorbed by all parts of the plant, including pollen and nectar. The PMRA study looked at the added cost to the farmer of using the bee-killing pesticides and compared yields and losses to calculate the cost/benefit of their use.

The chemical industry may have convinced farm organizations that they need neonicotinoids to succeed, but this study strongly suggests the true value of these pesticides has been way over stated.

“Removing neonicotinoid pesticides from the marketplace will not have a significant impact on farmers or the their incomes,” said Mr. Bennett. “It’s time to do the right thing and ban these bee-killing pesticides.”


John Bennett, National Program Director
Sierra Club Canada Foundation
1510-1 Nicholas Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 7B7
John on Twitter / Bennett Blog

For more information, visit our #SaveTheBees campaign webpage