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Doctors, Nurses Ramp-Up Campaign to Ban Neonic Pesticides

Common eastern bumblebee meadowsweet © Leslie Bol

TORONTO – The Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE) and the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) today extended their campaign to ban “neonic” pesticides – toxic chemicals, which Health Canada has linked to the death of bees in Quebec and Ontario.

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

Central to the initiative is a subway advertising buy, which began in November and which has now been extended to the end of April – nearly six months. 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 poisons are fatal to bees and that means the chemicals are a threat to human nutrition – because bees pollinate about a third of our food.”

“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 strategy includes holding meetings with key decision-makers in government and publishing pro-ban opinion articles in newspapers across Ontario. Recent polling suggests nearly four out of five Ontarians support the government’s proposal to reduce neonic use.



  • Gideon Forman, Cdn Assoc of Physicians for the Environment 647-703-5957
  • Marion Zych, Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario 647-406-5605