Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario

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Doctors, Nurses Launch Campaign to Ban "Neonic" Pesticides

2014-11-17

TORONTO – The Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE) and the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) today launched a campaign to ban “neonic” pesticides – toxic chemicals which Health Canada has linked to bee die-offs in Quebec and Ontario.

It is Canada’s first anti-neonic campaign organized by doctors and nurses. The David Suzuki Foundation and Ontario Nature are also key participants.

Central to the initiative is an advertising buy which starts this week on the Toronto subway system. The ads show an anxious child beneath the caption, ‘Doctors and Nurses say neonic pesticides hurt our bees and us.’

“Physicians believe neonics are a major threat to both nature and people,” says CAPE Executive Director Gideon Forman. “These nerve poisons are fatal to bees but there are also concerns they may adversely affect the human nervous system. We need to ban neonics to protect public health.”

“This is a unique campaign because health professionals have teamed up with environmental groups to urge a ban on these toxic pesticides. And it makes perfect sense because as nurses we know that if you kill bees -- and endanger our food supply -- you undermine human health,” says Doris Grinspun, Chief Executive Officer of RNAO.

The campaign is also sending a letter to all Ontario MPPs urging them to prohibit neonics’ use and sale.

“Ontario’s environment commissioner is sounding the alarm about the effect of neonics on birds, bees and butterflies,” says David Suzuki Foundation policy analyst Lisa Gue. “We need to ban neonics to avert an ecological crisis.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION
Gideon Forman, Cdn Assoc of Physicians for the Environment (647) 703-5957
Marion Zych, Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (647) 406-5605
Lisa Gue, David Suzuki Foundation (613) 914-0747
Anne Bell, Ontario Nature (416) 444-8419 ext 239