PMRA wraps up pollinator risk assessment on imidacloprid; final public consultation begins

In a somewhat confusing twist in the on-going neonicotinoid saga, Health Canada announced yesterday the findings of its pollinator health risk assessment for imidacloprid, one of three neonicotinoid insecticides currently under re-evaluation in Canada.

It’s confusing because the findings and subsequent recommendations of the Pest Management Regulatory’s risk assessment are essentially a moot point: an earlier environmental and human health risk assessment completed in November, 2016, found the risk to aquatic insects of enough concern to recommend removal of all approved outdoor uses. Risks to human health were not identified as a concern.

Ironically, the pollinator risk assessment has resulted in recommendations that maintain several imidacloprid approved applications, such as seed treatments and outdoor use outside of the blooming window.

However, Health Canada will base its final decision on imidacloprid, expected in December, 2018, on the overall risk assessment, which recommended a three to five year phase-out of nearly all outdoor and most indoor uses of imidacloprid.

The comment period regarding this pollinator risk assessment and resulting recommendations is open, for the next 90 days, as per regulatory rules. (You can find that here).

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