Dhruvika writes on sustainable practices in various sectors for BuzzOnEarth. Get in touch with her at dhruvika@buzzonearth.com. Sometimes she reads her emails too.

Canada announced on Wednesday to phase out two pesticides in the country to protect the dying bees as well as aquatic animals. According to various studies and researches, the two pesticides have shown properties which are harmful to the bees.

The two pesticides are clothianidin and thiamethoxam. These are neonic bee-killing pesticides and would be illegal in the country over the next three to five years.

Neonicotinoids (‘neonics’) are a class of neuro-active insecticides chemically similar to nicotine. Neonicotinoid use has been linked in a range of studies to adverse ecological effects.

In response to this decision, Angus Wong, Campaign Manager with global consumer group SumOfUs, has said: “Health Canada’s announcement to phase out bee-killing pesticides is a major victory that belongs to the people. Since the start of our campaign to ban these ecologically disastrous chemicals four years ago, thousands of Canadian residents signed petitions, sent public comments, and contacted government officials to protect the environment and bees in Canada—and it worked.”

Wong added: “Although this news is a step in the right direction, we will remain vigilant and continue to work tirelessly to end the neonics crisis and resist any efforts by neonics manufacturers Bayer and Syngenta, who are guaranteed to be working hard to overturn the ban by any means necessary. These bee-killing corporations have a track record of using dirty tactics, like lawsuits in Europe, to prevent these kinds of bans.”

Earlier this month, a petition from SumOfUS demanding that pharmaceutical and agricultural giant Bayer drop a lawsuit against the European Commission garnered over 150,000 signatures in less than two days. The petition came after Bayer announced it will appeal against a recent European Court of Justice verdict on neonicotinoids, which backed the partial EU ban on three bee-harming pesticides from 2013.

This move comes after an almost complete ban on three major neonicotinoid insecticides was decided in April 2018 due to the risk that imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam pose to bees.