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Another neonicotinoid ban in the works

Heath Canada proposes a plan to eliminate imidacloprid use across the country

By Jennifer Jackson

Canadian producers may have to prepare for additional insecticide bans.

Health Canada has completed a re-evaluation and is proposing a ban of the neonicotinoid imidacloprid.

The draft risk assessment “proposes that current use of imidacloprid is not sustainable, and the levels of this pesticide that are being found in waterways and aquatic environments are harmful to aquatic insects, such as mayflies and midges, which are important food sources for fish, birds and other animals,” according to a release from Health Canada.

Recognizing these risks, “Health Canada has also published a proposed risk management plan for public comment, which includes a proposed three-year phase-out of agricultural uses of imidacloprid in order to address risks to aquatic insects,” according to the release. The plan also outlines that producers lacking alternatives to imidacloprid may be able to work with a longer phase-out period of five years.  

According to Health Canada, imidacloprid is the active ingredient in some insecticides for cereals, soybeans and potatoes.

Potato field

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Kevin Brubacher, general manager for the Ontario Potato Board, notes the significance of the ingredient.

“Imidacloprid is effective in its control of Colorado Potato Beatles, Leaf Hoppers, Potato Flea Beatles and Aphids to name a few,” he said in an email statement. “It is an effective product that was originally approved after going through an extensive evaluation process.

“Potato Growers use this product in accordance to label instructions.”

Health Canada is currently accepting public comments regarding the proposed plans in a consultation period, open until Feb. 21, 2017.  There will also be a multi-stakeholder forum focusing on the potential for alternative neonicotinoid mitigation strategies.

More information on how to comment is on the Health Canada website

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