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Canada Considers Restrictions on Imidacloprid Pesticide

Canada is considering a proposal that would impose significant restrictions on the use of imidacloprid pesticide products, including the cancellations of some uses, restrictions on the timing of use, and new product labels. Interested parties will have 90 days to provide input and a final decision is expected to be published in December 2018.

These restrictions are being proposed in an effort to protect bees and other pollinators from the harmful effects of certain neonicotinoid pesticides. Three important neonicotinoids are currently approved for agricultural use in Canada – imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam – although each of these pesticides is currently undergoing a re-evaluation. Imidacloprid is often used as a coating on crop seeds to prevent insects from eating the seeds and to protect the plants as they grow. It can also be sprayed onto plants or bare soil and used as a granular application on turf grass or as a tree injection. Canadian authorities indicate that there has been a 70 to 92 percent decrease in reported bee deaths or other adverse effects since Health Canada implemented previous actions to protect bees from the dust from the planting of corn and soybean seeds treated with neonicotinoids.

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