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Canada updates neonicotinoids and bee healthqrcode

Dec. 1, 2014

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Dec. 1, 2014
Health Canada's PMRA (Pest Management Regulatory Agency), in collaboration with Health Canada's Regions and Programs Bureau and the provinces, conducted detailed inspections of the bee mortality incidents reported in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
PMRA noted that there were no significant reports of bee mortalities or effects associated with these insecticides in Canada until the spring of 2012, when a large number of bee mortalities were first reported in some regions of Canada. In 2012, 2013 and 2014, reported incidents related to planting of treated corn and soybean seed were limited to intense corn-growing regions of southern Ontario, with fewer incidents in corn growing regions of Quebec and Manitoba.
Based on a thorough evaluation, PMRA concluded that neonicotinoids present in dust generated during planting of treated corn and soybean seeds contributed to the reported bee mortalities in 2012 and 2013. In addition, 70 percent of dead bees collected during the corn and soybean planting periods in 2012 and 2013 had neonicotinoid residues present, while the majority of live bees did not have residues present. The weight of evidence indicated that exposure to neonicotinoids during the corn and soybean planting period contributed to bee mortalities in 2012 and 2013. However, there does not appear to be any impact in other areas where neonicotinoid pesticides are used extensively, such as canola growing regions.
Analytical results for bee samples collected in 2014, and evaluations of inspection results, are pending, but information to date indicates the number of incident reports associated with neonicotinoid pesticide use in 2014 is 70 percent lower than in 2013. A direct correlation to the risk mitigation measures cannot be made because the cold wet spring in southwestern Ontario meant that corn was planted later and less intensively than in previous years, possibly influencing the reduction in the number of incidents. As well, the cold spring meant that there were differences in bee foraging activity and available forage relative to timing of corn planting.
Health Canada's PMRA is continuing its re-evaluation of this class of pesticides in collaboration with the US EPA and California Department of Pesticide Regulation. The potential for both acute and sub-lethal effects on pollinators will be assessed, considering available information from scientists and researchers as well as new studies being generated by the registrants to specifically address these questions. Health Canada's PMRA will produce an interim report in 2015.


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