DuPont Pioneer selling neonicotinoid-free seed in Canada

12 September 2013 20:49  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--In an attempt to mitigate harmful impacts to bees that pollinate a vast array of food crops across North America, DuPont Pioneer has begun selling neonicotinoid-free hybrid corn and soybean seeds in Canada, the agricultural products company said on Thursday.

Recently, the health of bees have come under more intense scrutiny as growing numbers of researchers and scientists have proposed that the use of neonicotinoid insecticides are a likely cause of bee colony collapse disorder.

It is suspected these chemicals have the ability to damage the brains of the bees, resulting in negative repercussions including making them lose the ability to recognise floral scents. 

Colony collapse disorder is a situation where a colony’s bees disappear and never return. First noted in 2006, scientists said in the US alone, the epidemic can be blamed for a loss of about 30% of the population each year, which poses a great threat for the sustainability of the domestic agricultural industry.

The products are only being sold in Canada and not the US, according to Pioneer officials, and came after receiving requests for such products from two agricultural groups, the Grain Farmers of Ontario and the Canadian Seed Trade Association.

DuPont Technical Services Manager Dave Harwood said the new varieties will still offer a fungicide-based seed treatment, and that it was good option for agricultural producers who want to be good stewards of the environment without compromising yield potentials.

He said there have been company discussions about these products being offered to US farmers, but that no decision has been made.

“The situation that has developed here has been an association made with these neonicotinoids, either acute injury to bees, or there has been speculation, that there’s been more of a chronic effect,” said Harwood.



By: Mark Milam
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