Health Canada will allow neonic use as canola seed treatment...for now

Health Canada has completed its re-evaluations of the neonicotinoid pesticides clothianidin, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam in relation to the insecticides’ potential impact on bees and other pollinators.

The final decision, announced today, reflects scientific assessment that shows “varying effects on bees and other pollinators” from exposure to each of these pesticides, Health Canada says. The department is cancelling some uses of these pesticides, and changing other conditions of use such as restricting the timing of application. Remaining uses (e.g., treatment on canola seeds and greenhouse vegetables) are not expected to pose unacceptable risks to bees and other pollinators.

While access may still be possible under some conditions as of this ruling, Health Canada has not yet published its final decision on neonicotinoid safety for aquatic insects. Current research shows that these pesticides are detected frequently in waterbodies at levels that could be harmful to certain aquatic organisms. That final ruling is expected in January of 2020.

Health Canada began re-evaluations of  neonicotinoids in 2012, to address growing concerns around bee health. The department issued proposed decisions for clothianidin, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam in December 2017, May 2018, and December 2017, respectively, and consulted the public and stakeholders.

More to come…

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