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


Neonicotinoids may still have a future in Canada, and that is important to Western Canadian canola and wheat growers.  |  Michael Raine photo

Health Canada may be softening neonic stance: CropLife

Neonicotinoids may still have a future in Canada. Health Canada scientists have been studying water monitoring data, from across the country, and the Pest Management Regulatory Agency may not ban all agricultural uses of neonics, a spokesperson for CropLife Canada says. “I’m optimistic we will retain some uses,” said Maria Trainer, CropLife managing director, science […] Read more

The canola council has been collecting water data from canola-growing areas of Western Canada to provide PMRA with an understanding of how much neonic residue is washing out of prairie fields and into streams, rivers and lakes. That effort has been ongoing for more than a year, including this growing season.
 | File photo

Neonic ban must wait for more data: canola council

After going through the neonicotinoid-banning decision, the canola industry has discovered a number of disturbing elements: The Pest Management Regulatory Agency doesn’t appear to be using direct evidence; The comment period ends before 2018 water monitoring data can be collected and analyzed; The PMRA is applying an aggressive risk avoidance approach that is not shared […] Read more

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