Health Canada is proposing to grant three-year registration for neonicotinoid insecticides, clothianidin and thiamethoxam. According to Health Canada, evaluation of available scientific information found that, under the approved conditions of use, the products containing clothianidin and thiamethoxam have value and do not present unacceptable risk to human health or the environment, provided that labels of registered products are amended as recommended.
Clothianidin and Thiamethoxam are neonicotinoid pesticides used by agricultural workers and licensed applicators to protect crops, crop seeds and grass from insects. Both can be applied to the ground, to leaves (foliar), and to seeds.
In response to concerns about the effects of neonicotinoid pesticides on bees and other pollinators, Health Canada is conducting three separate pollinator risk assessments on this class of pesticides, which includes imidacloprid, thiamethoxam and clothianidin.
Health Canada is now consulting Canadians on proposed re-evaluation decisions for clothianidin and thiamethoxam based on the risk assessments. The consultation documents describe:
• How risks to insect pollinators were identified and evaluated
• Which uses of clothianidin and thiamethoxam do not pose risks to pollinators and are proposed to continue
• What use changes are proposed after being found to pose risks to pollinators
To further protect pollinators, Health Canada is proposing the following changes to the way clothianidin can be used:
• Phase-out of foliar application to orchard trees and strawberries
• Phase-out of foliar application to municipal, industrial and residential turf sites
• Reduction of pre-bloom application from 2 to 1 for cucurbit (cucumbers, squash etc.) vegetables
• Additional protective label instructions for cereal crop uses
To further protect pollinators, Health Canada is proposing the following changes to the way thiamethoxam can be used:
• Phase-out of foliar and soil applications to ornamental crops that will result in pollinator exposure
• Phase-out of soil application to berry crops, cucurbit crops and fruiting vegetables
• Phase-out of foliar application to orchard trees
• Foliar application to legumes, outdoor fruiting vegetables, and berry crops would no longer be permitted before or during bloom
These consultations are open for comment from 19 December 2017 to 19 March 2018 (90 calendar days). A webinar covering the technical aspects of the proposed pollinator decisions will be held January 2018. Final decisions are expected to be published in late 2018.