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Health Canada releases new measures for imidacloprid

Revised uses will allow for protection of human health and environment.


May 21, 2021
By Health Canada

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Health Canada has released the final re-evaluation decision on the risk to human health and the environment from the neonicotinoid pesticide imidacloprid on May 19, 2021. 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 cancelled uses due to environment risk include:

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  • Seed treatment for corn flea beetle on field and sweet corn. The rate for this pest exceeds the maximum allowable rate of 13 g a.i./80 000 seeds for field corn and 67.2 g a.i./100 kg seed for sweet corn.
  • Seed treatment: direct field seeding of brassica vegetables (such as broccoli and cabbage) and leafy vegetables (such as lettuce) and listed pests. Continued registration for transplants only.
  • In-furrow application on brassica, leafy, and root and tuber vegetables (including potato) and listed pests. The use on these crops is cancelled due to the maximum application rate being reduced to 100 g a.i./ha or because the maximum allowable rate will be exceeded based on the row spacing for these crops.
  • Soil drench application on brassica, leafy, and root and tuber vegetables (including potato, excluding sugar beet) and listed pests. The use on these crops is cancelled due to the maximum application rate being reduced to 86.6 g a.i./ha or because the maximum allowable rate will be exceeded based on the row spacing for these crops.

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.

Health Canada received more than 46,000 comments from the public, pesticide registrants, non-governmental organizations and provinces during the consultation process for imidacloprid. The review also considered a significant amount of new water monitoring data that was more representative of major agricultural regions of Canada, as well as scientific papers.

As part of its continued commitment to openness and transparency, Health Canada is publishing information related to this re-evaluation decision, including the outcome of the science evaluation, as well as next steps.

Read the entire terms of the re-evaluation here.