The article is an open letter written by an anonymous resident of Ontario, who most likely is from one of the 28,000 farm families of Ontario. The open letter is written after new regulations to restrict the use of neonicotinoids had been proposed. The writer is reacting to this proposal because he or she feels that the regulations are not well-intentioned, and they are not aimed at protecting the honey bees. Moreover, the people he or she writes this letter to are the 28,000 farm families who reside in Ontario. The writer feels that a crucial pest management tool will be stripped from these families, and thus they should participate fully in opposing the proposed regulations. The writer feels that the new regulations that will restrict the use of neonicotinoids is not hinged on sound facts and science and are hence flawed. The adoption of the regulations will impact greatly on the production of food, fuel and fiber supply thus it is important to involve all these farm families in opposing the new regulations. The subject matter in this open letter is that the proposed restriction of the use of neonicotinoids will not benefit honey bees but take away from farmers an important tool for pest management. The writer adopts a persuasive tone to implore Ontario families and other people to steadfastly oppose this restriction.
The writer is credible to write about this subject because he or she is directly affected by this restriction because he or she is one of these 28,000 families. He feels the regulations are out of order and should be challenged. The author says that all the farmers are committed to the protection of the environment, and this starts with every acre of land, a honey bee, and every letter of fresh water (Toronto Star, n.p). In addition, he or she supports the appeal with concrete facts and data, and other evidence that make his or her appeal logical. He or she states that honey bee colonies have increased in Ontario, and the evidence to corroborate this is from Statistics Canada. The research by Statistics Canada indicates that colony numbers for honey bees have been on an upward trend, and they have increased by 60% since 2003 (Toronto Star, n.p). This increment has been realized during the period in which use of neonicotinoid seed treatments has been the common practice. This indicates a correlation between use of neonicotinoid seed treatments and growth in the colony number of honey bees. Because of this, honey production leaped by 29% in the year 2014. To show the benefits of this correlation, the author says that honey beekeeping has been a booming industry raking in $30 million in 2014 only.
Additionally, the author also uses the data from Health Canada to support his or her argument. The report of Health Canada indicated that in 2014, honey bee incidents had declined by 70% compared to those in 2013 (Toronto Star, n.p). Surprisingly, 72% of the issues reported had been made by a minority of the beekeepers; only three out the 3262. Moreover, the author supports his appeal by providing data on how neonicotinoids are used safely in Ontario and other parts of the world. The safety of neonicotinoids is supported by the fact that western Canada produces 85% of Canadian honey, but no colony health issues that result from the use of neonicotinoid in the treatment of seeds have been reported. Additionally, countries such as Australia and England have found out that the use neonicotinoids have a low risk to honey bee populations, and this risk can be effectively managed. Other supporting evidence is that real-world research on fields in Ontario indicates that if neonicotinoid seed treatments are used responsibly there will be no honey bee health issues.
Furthermore, the author coherently puts forth his or her appeal by stressing that bees are important for agriculture and for the entire population. Because of this, the 28,000 farm families of Ontario have worked with diligence to enhance their production practices and they have promoted use of best management practices especially for the products needed in order to boost production in agriculture. Their diligence is also seen in the adoption of new technologies in order to lower risk.
Toronto Star. "An Open Letter to Ontarians." Toronto Star Replica Edition. Toronto Star Replica Edition, 4 Feb. 2015. Web. 28 Apr. 2015.