Neonicotinoids? What’s that?


If you want to find out what that word in the headline means and how it affects us and nature, there is an answer.

There is an upcoming webinar or website-based seminar on April 25th at 11 a.m. in room A103 of the Great Lakes Forestry Centre at 1219 Queen Street East.

The webinar will be hosted by David Kreutzweiser of the Canadian Forest Service and Natural Resources Canada
and Taylor Scarr of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.

Here’s their spiel:

Neonicotinoids, a class of systemic insecticides, are the most widely-used group of insecticides in the world due to their favourable properties from a pest management point of view. They are neurotoxins that are highly effective against a broad range of insect pests while expressing relatively low toxicity to mammals. However, recent studies have shown that their broad-scale use has resulted in widespread and persistent contamination in soils, plants, sediments, and water.

Also, several studies linked the use of neonicotinoids in agriculture to honeybee colony collapse disorder, which caught the world’s attention.

Dr. Kreutzweiser and two other Canadians were appointed to a 30-member advisory panel to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Commission on Ecosystem Management that was assembled to review over-800 scientific studies and provide an analysis and synthesis of the environmental risks associated with the widespread use of neonicotinoids.

A Worldwide Integrated Assessment was published in a series of papers and several international press conferences were held in 2015.

The assessment showed that neonicotinoids pose a serious threat of harm to a broad range of non-target organisms, well beyond honeybees.

“We will provide an overview of the findings of the WIA and show the forestry connection to this issue. We will highlight similarities and differences between agricultural uses and forestry applications of neonicotinoids and their environmental risks.”