Health Canada proposes three-year continued registration for neonics clothianidin & thiamethoxam

Treated wheat seed

As part of its ongoing assessment of neonicotinoid pesticides (or neonics), Health Canada has proposed renewed three-year registrations for two of the three neonics under review, with some added restrictions.

The review, which began in 2012, was initiated to assess the potential risk to pollinators from the nicotine-based products used to control insect pests.

Farmers will be allowed to continue using clothianidin and thiamethoxam in seed treatments, based on the proposal published by Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) on Tuesday.

Clothianidin-containing seed treatments include Poncho 600 FS, Prosper EverGol and Nipsit Suite. The list of products containing thiamethoxam includes Cruiser Maxx, Cruiser Vibrance and Helix Vibrance.

The agency is proposing three-year registrations for both ingredients, along with the following changes:

For clothianidin:

  • Phase-out of foliar application to orchard trees and strawberries
  • Phase-out of foliar application to municipal, industrial and residential turf sites
  • Reduction of pre-bloom application from 2 to 1 for cucurbit (cucumbers, squash etc.) vegetables
  • Additional protective label instructions for cereal crop uses

For thiamethoxam:

  • Phase-out of foliar and soil applications to ornamental crops that will result in pollinator exposure
  • Phase-out of soil application to berry crops, cucurbit crops and fruiting vegetables
  • Phase-out of foliar application to orchard trees
  • Foliar application to legumes, outdoor fruiting vegetables, and berry crops would no longer be permitted before or during bloom.

The PMRA will accept comments on its proposal for 90 days before publishing a registration decision for both clothianidin and thiamethoxam.

As for the third neonic under review, the PMRA proposed a three-year phase-out of the imidacloprid in November 2016, based on concerns about its impact on aquatic organisms. It received approximately 46,000 comments during the consultation period. The agency says a final decision on the use of imidacloprid in Canada is expected in late 2018.

Clothianidin and thiamethoxam are also under review for their impact on aquatic life, with decisions regarding measures to protect aquatic organisms expected in 2020.

(source: PMRA)

Editor’s note: This story was updated on Dec. 22 to clarify that the clothianidin and thiamethoxam are already registered, and that they are also under review for their impact on aquatic organisms.

 

Kelvin Heppner

Kelvin Heppner is a field editor and radio host for RealAgriculture and RealAg Radio. He's been reporting on agriculture on the prairies and across Canada since 2008(ish). He farms with his family near Altona, Manitoba, and is on Twitter at @realag_kelvin. @realag_kelvin

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