Canada limits, but does not ban, neonicotinoid pesticides

 Steph Deschamps / May 20, 2021

Canada announced Wednesday that it would not ban the third neonicotinoid pesticide registered in the country, while restricting its use for certain crops as it had done for the other two.


The Ministry of Health has approved the conditional use of imidacloprid, one of the three bee-killer pesticides registered in Canada, along with clothianidin and thiamethoxam.


Health Canada has concluded that a total ban on neonicotinoid pesticides is not warranted, said Scott Kirby, who is responsible for pesticides at Health Canada.


A re-evaluation of the science found that some uses of imidacloprid do not pose a risk to human health or the environment, while other uses do pose a risk, he added.


Limitations on the use of imidacloprid focus on seeds treated with this pesticide and planted outdoors, where they are likely to be eaten by birds.


They will also apply to outdoor vegetable crops, tobacco and turf treatment.


At the end of March, Health Canada announced that it would restrict the use of the other two neonicotinoids in several fruit and vegetable crops, including some lettuce, potatoes, blueberries (called blueberries in Canada), corn and soybeans.


Neonicotinoids, deemed responsible for the decline in bee numbers worldwide, have been banned in Europe since 2018.


In France, the Council of State validated in mid-March their provisional reauthorization in the sugar beet sector, to cope with the fall in harvests after the invasion of an aphid vector of jaundice.

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