Seeds of intent hold the power to shape who we are and who we want to become. At least that's what self-help books say.
It's been a year since Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) issued a notice of intent inspiringly titled Action To Protect Bees From Exposure To Neonicotinoid Pesticides.
"Yes! Protect the bees! Let's do this thing!" Canadians cheered.
Then, last week, Sierra Club of Canada revealed that the agency continues to green-light new neonic products despite its commitment to re-evaluating their effects on pollinators.
In the past two weeks alone, the PMRA has registered for use two pesticide products. Both the canola seed and general cereal seed "protectant" made by Valent Canada contain clothianidin, a neonicotinoid currently banned in Europe.
Health Canada says it shares the public's concern about the need for a healthy bee population and has acknowledged that "current agricultural practices related to the use of neonicotinoid-treated corn and soybean seed are not sustainable." The thing is, says the agency, the newly approved neonic products are for use on wheat and canola, to which, it says, neonic-triggered die-offs have yet to be traced in Canada.
Sierra Club national program director John Bennett argues the feds are "attempting to deceive Canadians into believing they're taking action on bee-killing pesticides" yet continue to ignore the broader threats to the environment.
The problem goes way beyond those honey bees near corn and soy fields, explains Bennett. Mounting peer-reviewed studies are fingering neonics for declines in bats, birds, bugs - the list goes on.
Health Canada insists it's taking action. As of this year, it's slapped warning labels on neonic pesticides and is working with farmers on safer seed planting practices so treated seeds don't kick up neonic-laced dust when fields are sown.
Activists argue that the whole strategy places the blame and burden on farmers while protecting the chemical companies making the pesticides. As long as Canadian crops, including up to 100 per cent of conventional corn and up to 50 per cent of conventional soy are treated with neonics, Canada is sowing the seeds of destruction for the nation's bees.
If you think it's time for touger action, let your MP and @HealthCanada know. #savethebees #BanNeonics