Court dismisses Grain Farmers’ challenge of new Ontario neonic rules

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Although blaming the victim is normally counter-productive, in this case the Grain Farmers of Ontario (GFO) can be seen to be their own nemesis because of the one-sided way they have continually touted ethanol mandates. Or, in other words, GFO's seemingly new-found concern for "farmers bottom line" rings rather-hollow considering that they never showed no concern about the "bottom line" of hog and cattle feeders adversely affected by ethanol.

In addition, one hopes that whatever report BDO eventually proffers will recognize that bees exist and that beekeeping contributes to the economy - however, given the plethora of reports GFO commissioned in an attempt to whitewash ethanol, the odds are good that this report will join the dusty pile of badly-designed reports already in GFO's archives.

Finally, when it comes to the realization for the need to make neonics regulations "a little more workable", the OFA started to do just exactly that well-over a year ago, and suffered the vitriol of GFO types for doing so. All GFO has done is:

(A) stalled for a year
(B) squandered a lot of check-off money
(C) ruined its reputation as a credible and co-operative organization

An apology to OFA is long-overdue, but considering that GFO and hubris seem to be two sides of the same coin, it, although entirely needed and appropriate, isn't likely to happen.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Grain Farmers of Ontario. You guys should be writing comedy:
Jamie MacMaster
North Glengarry

She's such a disappointment, eh?

So what's next? Something drastic? Like maybe give her a B- on her report card?

Jamie MacMaster
North Glengarry

The larger lesson to be learned from the whole neonics caper is that primary agriculture, with the exception of the Quebec dairy lobby, doesn't have much, if any, clout anywhere.

Even though we have a lot of farm gate sales, there are still only between 40,000 and 100,000 people who would call themselves farmers in some way, shape or form, out of almost 14 million people living in Ontario. That's not enough to have any sort of significant clout whatsoever.

While farmers and farm groups can be dismissive towards the Premier and the government she leads, we, in agriculture, got only a partial restriction on the use of neonicotinoids. The government initially wanted a complete ban and they would have had public opinion on their side if they did.

GFO taking the government to court over neonics never was anything more than a money-wasting demonstration of ideological testosterone over-ruling reality.

Come on, really, GFO, the government gave you ethanol mandates and then partially took away neonics - most people would call that a "draw", would get over it and would move on. Please do.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

While grain farmers continue to fulminate about the heavy-hand of the present Liberal government of Ontario when it comes to neonicotinoid restrictions, they should rise with one voice to denounce one of their own, an ethanol company, for being the largest corporate donor (some $433,000) to the Ontario Liberal party since 2007.

Somehow, complaining about government policy (neonics restrictions) when your pockets are full of government money (subsidies in the form of ethanol mandates) does not a sound argument make.

How long, to the nearest century, is it likely to take the Grain Farmers of Ontario to admit, or even realize, they're trying to have it both ways?

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

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