Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) announced on August 15 that the remaining two of the three major neonicotinoid insecticides will be phased out in Canada in three to five years, including all outdoor food and feed use.

PMRA officials announced 90-day consultation periods on its proposed decisions for both clothianidin and thiamethoxam, following re-evaluations that found both substances being measured at levels deemed potential risk to aquatic insects. The 90-day comment period will expire on November 13. SPG will be working to provide feedback to the PMRA on the proposed decision. SPG is also working with its counterparts from across Canada through Grain Growers of Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada roundtable, Canada Grains Council and others.

Previously, SPG has been active on PMRA recommendations submitting comments during a similar process for imidacloprid. SPG and the broader industry knew the other two neonics were being reviewed and anticipated this recent announcement. The PMRA final decision on imidacloprid is expected December 2018.

For pulses and soybeans the active ingredients and commercial products that would be affected include imidacloprid (Stress Shield®600, Admire®SPT, Alias®240 SC, Trilex®EverGol®Shield) and thiamethoxam (Cruiser®5FS, CruiserMaxx®Vibrance®Beans, CruiserMaxx®Vibrance®Pulses).  

The Canadian pulse industry is concerned with the recent PMRA proposed decision. As with the previous experience regarding imidacloprid, the pulse industry shares concerns with the re-evaluation process and lack of engagement with stakeholders prior to proposed decisions. The Canadian pulse industry relies on sound, scientific data, process and review, in all aspects of sustainable production decisions. The industry will be reviewing the proposed decision alongside national grower partners, and provide a response to the PMRA including mitigation options, as well as the impact this decision will have on growers and the wider industry.

The pulse industry has very few alternatives to neonic seed treatments and, in instances, no other registered products that target specific insect pests. The proposed decision would result in the loss of a critical remaining tool for pulse growers.

Canadian pulse growers support a well-resourced PMRA as the health and safety of our families, workers, and applicators is paramount. Growers are stewards of the land and the protection of the environment, the soils and ecology is the priority, so future generations can continue producing safe, quality foods in a sustainable manner.

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