Neonic Battle Returns to Court March 9

Grain Farmers of Ontario is heading back to court to fight another round in its court battle to contest the province’s new seed treatment regulations.

GFO will be in court on March 9th. “We are pleased that the Ontario Court of Appeal has agreed to hear our case and to move quickly on the issue,” GFO Chair Mark Brock said in a release.

GFO also hopes to have the request for a stay on the regulations and interpretation of the regulations heard at that time. Brock told Real Agriculture he hopes a stay would come in time to impact seed requirements for the 2016 planting season, but that will be up to the court.

On Oct. 23, 2015, the Ontario Superior Court denied GFO’s request for a stay and interpretation on the province’s new seed treatment regulations, which limit the use of neonicotinoid-treated corn and soybean seed. Undaunted, the farm organization submitted an appeal to the Ontario Court of Appeal regarding the dismissal of its main request, which includes the interpretation of the regulations.

At the time of the ruling Brock commented that GFO felt that the Superior Court judge made some errors in his ruling in terms of law. “We felt comfortable there’s grounds for an appeal,” he said.

Under the new regulations, farmers have to fill out a Seed Amount Declaration if they plan to use neonicotinoid-treated seed on 50 percent of their total corn or soybean crop. They must also complete a pest assessment and Pest Assessment Report for their sales representative, seed vendor or custom seed treater to be able to plant neonicotinoid-treated seed.

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