Mayflies are among the aquatic insects that the Pest Management Regulatory Agency says it is protecting by proposing to ban all outdoor use of neonicotinoids in Canada.  |  John Gavloski photo

Neonic threshold called ‘overly conservative’

Bayer questions PMRA’s decision to set safe levels at 1.5 parts per trillion in its ban proposal; it’s 50 p.p.t. in the U.S.

If the highway speed limit in Canada was 15 km-h, it’s likely that the number of speeding tickets would increase. In the same vein, Health Canada has selected a low number it deems to be an acceptable amount of neonicotinoid insecticides in water bodies. For clothianidin, a Bayer insecticide, Health Canada scientists decided the acceptable […] Read more

Ontario farmers, such as this soybean grower near Sweaburg, have already got a taste of what it’s like to have their neonicotinoid use restricted.  |  File photo

Proposed neonic ban frustrates Ontario farmers

Province imposed restrictions in 2013-14, requiring independent agronomists to write ‘prescriptions’ for neonic use

Ontario farmers are frustrated that they haven’t been given enough of a chance to prove they can safely use neonicotinoids. They think the best management practices adopted a few years ago have eliminated most of the threat from former application methods for the crucial insecticides. “We dealt with that,” said Barry Senft, chief executive officer […] Read more

European governments faced significant public pressure to ban neonicotinoids because of concerns over the effects on bees, such as this demonstration in front of the European Parliament in Brussels in 2013.  |  REUTERS/Eric Vidal photo

European neonic ban cut canola yields: study

Yield losses ranged from less than one percent to more than 20 percent, depending on the degree of insect pressure

The European Union’s ban on neonicotinoids has been a costly, environmentally dubious and regressive mistake, argues a study conducted for the EU’s farming and agriculture industries. The author also voices the same perplexity with the EU regulators’ resistance to comparative studies that many Canadian farmers and agriculture people are now expressing about Health Canada’s Pest […] Read more


Landen Stronks and other Alberta beekeepers are worried about what happens if and when neonicotinoids are phased out. | File photo

Beekeepers worry about foliar sprays if neonics banned

Beekeepers should be thrilled that Health Canada is banning the use of neonicotinoids because the insecticides have been linked to bee deaths and pollinator decline. Landen Stronks, a beekeeper from Iron Springs, Alta., is definitely not thrilled. Stronks and other Alberta beekeepers are worried about what happens if and when neonicotinoids are phased out. “We […] Read more

The phasing out of neonicotinoid seed treatments in Canada may cause problems for the country's canola growers when dealing with flea beetles, but alternatives pesticides could fill the gap. | Canola Council of Canada photo

Neonicotinoid phase-out reduces canola flea beetle control tools

Winnipeg – The phasing out of neonicotinoid seed treatments in Canada may cause problems for the country’s canola growers when dealing with flea beetles, but alternatives pesticides could fill the gap. Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) is proposing that two neonicotinoid pesticides, clothianidin and thiamethoxam, be phased out over the next three to […] Read more


Neonicotinoids are under fire because of concerns they may be threatening bee populations.  |  File photo

Costco takes stand on insecticides

Costco is saying no to neonics. The grocery store chain, with more than 600 stores in the United States and Canada, said in May that it wants producers of fruits, vegetables and garden plants to stop using neonicotinoids, a class of insecticides commonly known as neonics. “Suppliers are encouraged to phase out the use of […] Read more

The fate of two neonicotinoid seed treatments, applied to almost all of the canola and corn seeds in Canada and a portion of the soybean seeds, will be decided this summer.
 | File photo

Decision looming for neonics

Health Canada agency will rule this summer on fate of chemicals based on the threat to aquatic insects

The fate of two neonicotinoid seed treatments, applied to almost all of the canola and corn seeds in Canada and a portion of the soybean seeds, will be decided this summer. For the last 18 months Health Canada has been studying neonicotinoid insecticides and assessing the risk to aquatic insects. The two products are clothianidin, […] Read more

Thiamethoxam can reduce the chances of bumblebee queens starting new colonies by about 25 pe cent, a University of Guelph study has found. |  File photo

Neonic risk to bees found

A food safety group in Europe says most uses of neonicotinoid pesticides represent a risk to wild bees and honeybees. The European Food Safety Authority has updated its risk assessment of three neonicotinoids: clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam. The three pesticides are currently subject to restrictions in the EU because of the threats they pose to […] Read more


Fruit, vegetable and potato producers are the main users of imidacloprid, but prairie growers use it on wheat crops to control wireworm. | PMRA photo

No imidacloprid decision expected till next year

Health Canada proposed last November to ban imidacloprid, an insecticide applied to fruit, vegetables, potatoes and many other crops across the country. Twelve months have passed since the announcement, but Canadian farmers who use the insecticide will have to wait another year to know if it’s banned or not. “Health Canada is reviewing an extensive […] Read more

Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan found that songbirds given small doses of imidacloprid  
lost weight and lost their sense of direction, preventing them from migrating south.
|  University of Saskatchewan photo

Sask. study links neonicotinoids to songbird health

Scientists have conducted dozens of studies on neonicotinoid seed treatments and the potential impact on bee health. Now, researchers at the University of Saskatchewan have found that canola seed coated with imidacloprid, a type of neonicotinoid, can be toxic to songbirds. “Imidacloprid dosed birds exhibited significant declines in fat stores and body mass and failed […] Read more