by Ted Menzies, President of CropLife Canada.
In response to Larry Powell’s Aug. 19 article, " New Studies Show Farm Chemicals Are Affecting More Than Bees. Bird Populations are Declining, Too. Is Modern Agriculture's Hold on Nature Turning Into a Death Grip?" and his letter to the editor on Sept. 5 regarding the lack of replies;
Ted Menzies, President of CropLife Canada.
Inflammatory language such as that expressed in the article "Is agriculture’s toxic hold turning into a death grip?" creates a false impression that is both unfair to farmers and inaccurate. Farmers overwhelmingly choose to grow genetically-improved varieties of corn, canola, soybeans and other crops due to the numerous benefits they offer, such as increased yields, which allows more food to be produced on the same amount of land. The plant science industry is committed to the responsible use of its products. Neonicotinoid seed treatments use a very small amount of pesticide and place it directly where it needs to be to protect the crop, thereby reducing the risk to non-target organisms, such as bees, and the environment.
Pesticides, whether used on conventional or organic farms, undergo a rigorous scientific review and assessment by Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency – this includes its persistence and impact on aquatic insects and birds. Pest control products are only approved for use once a scientific evaluation demonstrates no harm to human health, future generations or the environment.
Agriculture in Canada has never been more sustainable than it is today and part of the reason is the use of innovative products — like neonicotinoid seed treatments. Our industry welcomes questions about our products and looks forward to future opportunities to set the record straight about their safety and our deep commitment to working with all stakeholders to continue to ensure a sustainable future for agriculture.
President, CropLife Canada