Garden centre plants laced with bee-killing pesticides
After the Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists informed us that nearly 60 per cent of Ontario bees died over the winter, the province has stepped up and announced that it's going to try to restrict the use of bee-killing neonic pesticides, common on corn and soybeans, by 2015. It may want to consider keeping neonics off garden centre plants, too.
According to the latest from Friends of the Earth, more than half of samples collected from stores in 18 cities across Canada and the U.S. were laced with neonicotinoids. In Canada, the scene was even worse, with over 60 per cent of samples testing positive and a startling 100 per cent of samples collected in London, Ontario, were neonic-contaminted.
Tell Rona, Home Depot, Canadian Tire and Sears Canada to stop using neonic pesticides in their garden centre plants by signing the petition at foecanada.org.
Canada asleep at the tap on drinking water standards
In discussions around tap versus bottled, municipalities like Toronto often argue that tap water is more vigorously regulated than the plastic-encased stuff you get at the store. That may be the case, but a new report card still slaps the feds with an F for poor national drinking water protection.
According to Ecojustice, Canada has the strongest water standards in the world when it comes to limiting 24 substances in tap water like weed-killing glyphosate (the stuff in Monsanto's Roundup). But even those are voluntary. We still lack binding water standards that are uniform across the country.
Canada falls at the very back of the regulatory pack on 27 other substances, including common water-contaminating herbicide 2,4-D. And at the national level has zero standards regulating 189 other substances for which the U.S., EU, Australia and/or the World Health Organization set maximum allowable limits.
Styrene's a prime example. Surveys of 80 Ontario samples reveal that some taps are serving water that exceeds the U.S. cap for carcinogenic styrene in drinking water.
The report warns that climate-change-induced droughts are bound to make matters worse by further concentrating pollutants in rivers and lakes. And First Nations communities remain the hardest hit by the feds' H2O slacking.
Says report co-author Elaine MacDonald, "Without a concerted effort to improve Canada's deficient water standards, legislators will continue to put the health of Canadians at risk and perpetuate inequity in water quality across the country."