University of Saskatchewan biology professor Jack Gray has used African migratory locusts to determine that sulfoxaflor, at low dosages, might be safer for insects than neonicotinoids.  |  William DeKay photo

Sulfoxaflor could be safe alternative to neonics

Saskatchewan researchers find that at low dosages, sulfoxaflor is less toxic than the currently used neonic imidacloprid


A locust sits front row and centre inside a huge dome in its very own 3D IMAX-like theatre. The frosted “curtain” rises, lights dim and the finger-sized insect watches as computer generated images are projected on the private viewing screen — minus the sound and popcorn. Expanding black discs flash across the screen, which from […] Read more

Farmers will not be allowed to use the neonicotinoid, sold under brands Calypso and Biscaya, after April 30, when its current approval expires.
 | File photo

EU bans neonic on bee concerns

BRUSSELS, Belgium (Reuters) — The European Commission decided Jan. 13 not to renew approval for a pesticide linked to harming bees, effectively banning Bayer’s insecticide known as thiacloprid. The decision follows approval by a majority of European Union governments last October, based on a proposal from the commission, the bloc’s executive. “There are environmental concerns […] Read more

Pierre Petelle, president and CEO of CropLife Canada, said it is unreasonable to expect a farmer to suddenly scrap his pest management plan the minute the PMRA issues a ruling. | File photo

Pesticide label change transition times upheld

Environmental groups had argued the PMRA didn’t have the ability to phase in changes it made to product registrations

Pierre Petelle is breathing a sigh of relief in the wake of a Federal Court ruling reaffirming the Pest Management Regulatory Agency’s authority to set phase-in periods for amended pesticide registrations. “We’re very pleased with the outcome because it would have been tremendously impactful,” said the president of CropLife Canada. The David Suzuki Foundation, Friends […] Read more


University of Saskatchewan research has found that neonics readily dissolve in water and don’t break down easily in the environment.  |  File photo

Neonic researchers search for path forward

Canola seed coated with neonicotinoid insecticides marked a major advance for producers, providing good control of pests, such as flea beetles, while allowing much-reduced levels of insecticide. “If you look at reverting back to foliar insecticides and needing three to four applications to match what a seed treatment would do, you can start having some […] Read more

Neonicotinoid insecticides are used on tens of millions of acres of cropland in Canada.  |  File photo

Feds delay decision on proposed neonic ban

Health Canada is reviewing new evidence compiled by Agriculture Canada and expects an ‘update’ in January

In January, Health Canada may make its final decision on neonics. Or, maybe not. Health Canada was expected to decide on the safety of neonicotinoid insecticides in December, but now it said it will provide an “update” in January. “Health Canada … proposed to cancel the majority of outdoor uses of all three neonicotinoids (because) […] Read more


If neonics are harming midges and mayflies, it could pose a threat to birds and other animals that rely on the insects for food. The crop protection industry and farmers have argued that the amount of neonics accumulating in ponds and creeks is in the parts per billion and there's little evidence that midges or mayflies are dying off. | File photo

Ottawa delays neonic decision to January

Health Canada was supposed to make a final decision on banning neonics in December. The decision has been pushed back to January. “Health Canada … proposed to cancel the majority of outdoor uses of all three neonicotinoids (because) of the risks to aquatic insects. Since then several new scientific papers have been published and the […] Read more

The study, which will be published tomorrow in Science, a highly regarded scientific journal, has concluded that imidacloprid is a threat to songbirds, said Margaret Eng, a post-doctoral fellow in the University of Saskatchewan's Toxicology Centre and lead author of the study. | Supplied photo

New neonic study points to songbird decline

The findings of a University of Saskatchewan study may affect the fate of insecticide seed treatments in Canada. The study, which will be published tomorrow in Science, a highly regarded scientific journal, has concluded that imidacloprid is a threat to songbirds. White crowned sparrows that consumed seeds coated with the insecticide lost weight and the […] Read more

Honeybee colonies play a crucial role in work done at the University of Guelph’s Honey Bee Research Centre.  |  University of Guelph/Nuria Morfin-Ramirez photo

Neonics hinder bees’ grooming ability: study

University of Guelph researchers find that insecticide affects honeybees’ ability to rid themselves of deadly varoa mites

A University of Guelph study is the first to discover the serious impact of the neonicotinoid insecticide called clothianidin on a honeybee’s ability to groom and rid itself of deadly varroa mites. Neonicotinoids are the most commonly used insecticides in Canada. They are sprayed in fruit and vegetable production, which are resources bees frequently use […] Read more


On Thursday, Health Canada released its final decision on neonic insecticides and their potential impact on bees and other pollinators. The department will take several steps to reduce the risk to bees, but neonic seed treatments will not be affected. | File photo

Neonics no threat to bees, feds rule; aquatic insect decision still to come

Neonicotinoid seed treatments are not a threat to bees, Health Canada says. On Thursday, Health Canada released its final decision on neonic insecticides and their potential impact on bees and other pollinators. The department will take several steps to reduce the risk to bees, but neonic seed treatments will not be affected. “Health Canada has […] Read more

Recent surveys show neonicotinoids have been detected in Alberta water bodies, though their risk of impacting aquatic invertebrates is considered low.
 | File photo

Low neonic levels found in Alta. water bodies

Survey data comes as the Pest Management Regulatory Agency studies the possibility of banning neonic use in Canada

Recent surveys show neonicotinoids have been detected in Alberta water bodies, though their risk of impacting aquatic invertebrates is considered low. The data, shared by Alberta Agriculture during FarmTech on Jan. 29, found neonics ranged in concentrations of 2.5 nanograms per litre to 125.9 nanograms per litre at 61 of the 102 sample sites in […] Read more