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PMRA proposes phase-out of imidacloprid use

Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) is proposing to phase-out all the agricultural and a majority of other outdoor uses of imidacloprid over three to five years.

Imidacloprid (Admire) is a neonicotinoid insecticide used by commercial applicators and growers to manage insects on a large number of agricultural crops, including potatoes in which it provides extended control of Colorado potato beetle, aphids, potato leafhopper and potato flea beetle.

Health Canada recently completed a re-evaluation of imidacloprid and published its draft risk assessment for public comment. The 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.

To address the risks identified, 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. In some cases, where there are no alternative pest control products available, a longer phase-out transition period of five years is being proposed.

The proposed re-evaluation decision is now open for public consultation for 90 days, between Nov. 23, 2016 and Feb. 21, 2017. Once the PMRA considers the comments and any information that are received during the public consultation period, it will publish a final decision.

Based on the findings of the re-evaluation assessment on imidacloprid, the Health Canada is also launching special reviews for clothianidin (Titan) and thiamethoxam (Actara). These special reviews will examine any potential risks these pesticides may pose to aquatic invertebrates, including insects, as they are also being detected frequently in aquatic environments.


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