OTTAWA — Health Canada’s decision to ban one of three neonicotinoids will be delayed as the agency continues to study the insecticide, according to The Western Producer.
Health Canada announced last November that the neonic, imidacloprid, might be phased out over the next three to five years as it is harmful to aquatic insects such as mayflies and midges. A final decision was expected in 2017.
Craig Hunter with the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association told The Western Producer that Health Canada will make its final decision by December and publish it by springtime. Health Canada would not confirm a date. Hunter was hopeful that Health Canada might change its initial decision and ban the neonic only where there is a risk of higher levels of concentration in water. That area would include southern Ontario.
Imidacloprid is the most-widely used insecticide in the world, but is the least-used neonic in Ontario. Imidacloprid is used more in Western Canada, especially on canola and wheat fields.
Health Canada has launched special reviews of the impact of two other widely-used neonicotinoids, clothianidin and thiamethoxam, on aquatic insects. Almost all of the corn seeds in Ontario and 60 per cent of soybean seeds were treated with neonics.