GUELPH — Saying its better to err on the side of caution, the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario (CFFO) supports the provincial governments proposal to reduce neonics in Ontario by 80 per cent by 2017.
But more neonic studies are needed, says the CFFO submission on the provincial governments request for feedback on the topic. The CFFO also warns the government that it wont reach that 80 per cent target within its timeframe.
“We support the idea of putting a target in place, and understand thats what targets are: you dont always hit them,” says Lorne Small, CFFO president and a sheep and rabbit farmer near Kenilworth, about 60 kilometres north of Kitchener.
The CFFO, which has 4,100 members, believes that neonics should only be used when required, and subscribes to the precautionary principle: If something may be harmful, the burden of proof that it is not harmful falls on those who want to use it.
The CFFO is also concerned about seed availability and whether companies will supply untreated seeds for all different varieties.
The Ontario Landowners Association does not favour the neonic restriction but president Tom Black argues both sides need to give a little.
“Both sides are wrong,” says Black. “The guys using it are using too much of it. If you overuse it, you lose it. Its like antibiotics. Insects build resistance.”