Ontario Honey Producers File Class Action Lawsuit Against Companies Producing Neonicotinoid Seed Treatments

The law firm of Siskinds LLP, based at London, Ont., has launched a class action regarding neonicotinoid pesticides, specifically those containing imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiomethoxam, designed, developed, marketed and produced by Bayer (as Bayer CropScience) and Syngenta. The action, set in motion by Sun Parlor and Munro Honey, seeks in excess of $400 million in damages.

Neonicotinoid pesticides are a systemic insecticide applied as a seed treatment to corn, soybean, canola and some other crops planted in Canada.

This class action relates to the impact of these pesticides on the bee population and, consequently, on beekeepers who produce honey, provide pollination services and raise queen bees, says Siskinds.

The Statement of Claim alleges, among other things, that the defendants were negligent in their design, manufacture, sale and distribution of neonicotinoids. The Statement of Claim alleges that as a result of neonicotinoid use:

  • queens, breeding stock and colonies were damaged or died;
  • beeswax, honeycombs and hives were contaminated;
  • honey production decreased; and
  • beekeepers lost profits, and incurred unrecoverable costs.

Allegations of loss have not been proven in court. The suit seeks damages dating back as far as 2006.

While not directly involved in the suit, the Ontario Beekeepers Association has posted details regarding the suit and Siskinds LLP’s press release on its website here.

Related: Ontario entomologist Tracey Baute outlines current research of neonicotinoid use in Ontario