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"Bee killer" pesticide still allowed in Canada

Ottawa decided yesterday not to ban imidacloprid, which is a neonicotinoid pesticide, and is to limit its use to certain crops. Many environmentalists object to it's continued use and refer to it as the "bee killer". In 2013, the European Commission severely restricted the use of plant protection products and treated seeds containing three of these neonicotinoids (clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam) to protect honeybees. Imidacloprid is a neonicotinoid systemic insecticide which may be an important cause of bee decline and bee colony collapse disorder (CCD).

Health Canada released the final re-evaluation decision on the risk to human health and the environment from the neonicotinoid pesticide imidacloprid. This decision marks the conclusion of years of data collection, scientific assessments, and consultations.

Health Canada's assessment indicated that, with additional risk mitigation measures, many uses of imidacloprid products meet current standards for protection of human health and the environment. However, certain uses of imidacloprid are cancelled to address potential risks of concern to the environment.

The revised conditions of use must be implemented on all product labels no later than 24 months from today, with the exception of one use with no suitable alternative which will continue for an additional 24 months. New measures for the use of imidacloprid include labeling of guidelines including reduced rates and numbers of applications.

Quick Facts: Neonicotinoids are a class of pesticide used to control insects on a variety of agricultural crops, including as a seed treatment, and on turf and ornamental plants. Specifically, imidacloprid is applied using ground, aerial and seed treatment equipment, tree injection applicators, bait stations, and spot-on applications to pets. For more information on Pesticides and Pest Management, see the Gov website @


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