Ontario Agriculture Industry Vows to Create its Own Pollinator Health Initiative

A few weeks ago, the Grain Farmers of Ontario encouraged farmers to boycott the Ontario government’s public consultation process concerning new regulations governing access and use of neonicotinoid seed treatments on corn and soybean seed.

At the time, GFO stated that there was little to be gained at the public meeting, and that GFO and other agriculture groups would be meeting on December 18, behind closed doors, where the groups said it will explain the “numerous concerns around the proposed restriction and within the consultation document,” put forward by the province.

That meeting did happen last week, but what transpired was more of a statement than a consultation. As Henry Van Ankum, chair of GFO, says in the audio interview below, each group attending the one-on-one meeting took to the microphone to reject the provincial government’s process and proceeded to leave the meeting.

What happens now? Van Ankum says that the industry is forming its own pollinator health initiative which will include best management practices for both grain farmers and beekeepers. He says the industry-created initiative will be hammered out in the next few weeks, even as the provincial government moves to close its consultation process in late January, 2015.

Hear the entire interview below.

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Lyndsey Smith

Lyndsey Smith is a field editor for RealAgriculture. A self-proclaimed agnerd, Lyndsey is passionate about all things farming but is especially thrilled by agronomy and livestock production.

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One Comment

John

Henry, his board and staff really dropped the ball on this file and under estimated the proactive actions of the bee industry. Also did not realize that this Provincial Government was not in their back pocket like they seemed to indicate to it’s farmer members. They should have loaded the buses instead of boycotting the Government consultation meetings. Henry should now resign instead of coercing the board to give him a 3rd year at the trough!

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