After years of reviewing scientific reports, studying water monitoring data and reading 46,000 comments from the public, non-governmental organizations and provincial governments, Health Canada has concluded that imidacloprid can still be used on many crops. | File photo

Health Canada reverses ban on neonics

In November 2016, Health Canada said it would ban agricultural uses of imidacloprid, an insecticide widely used on Canadian farms. About 4 1/2 years later, department scientists have changed their minds. Imidacloprid will not be banned. On May 19, Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) released its re-evaluation decision for imidacloprid, a Bayer insecticide. […] Read more

The PMRA worked with farmer groups to sample water around farmland where neonics were used. Those results were responsible, at least in part, for acceptance of continued neonic use. | File photo

Science has prevailed in PMRA’s neonic ruling

The recent neonics nod has left farmers pleasantly surprised and environmental groups deeply disappointed. The agricultural industry waited with some trepidation this spring for a ruling by Health Canada on use of neonicotinoid insecticides, which are used to control various production-limiting crop pests. Three years ago the Pest Management Regulatory Agency made a preliminary decision […] Read more

Western Canadian beekeepers have long supported the use of neonic seed treatments, arguing they’re safer than foliar insecticides. | File photo

Farmers applaud neonic ban reversal

Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency said March 31 that it’s possible for farmers to use neonicotinoid insecticides on most crops, with some reduction in rates and frequency of use. “Health Canada’s scientists have reviewed a large body of scientific information and concluded that a complete ban on neonicotinoid pesticides is not warranted,” it said. […] Read more


Health Canada has placed restrictions on certain uses but rules the insecticides are generally not a threat to aquatic insects. | File photo

Health Canada changes course on neonics

The final decision has been delayed several times, but today Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency announced that neonicotinoid insecticides are not a threat to aquatic insects when used as a seed treatment on canola and in many other instances. “While we are still reviewing the full details of the special review decisions, we are […] Read more

Frederic Bissonnette, a Health Canada spokesperson, said scientists with the Pest Management Regulatory Agency have a huge amount of data on the concentrations of neonicotinoid insecticides in wetlands, creeks and water bodies across Canada. | File photo

Water data will determine neonic decision: PMRA

Health Canada will rely upon water monitoring data, not computer models, when it makes its final decision on the environmental safety of neonics. Frederic Bissonnette, a Health Canada spokesperson, said scientists with the Pest Management Regulatory Agency have a huge amount of data on the concentrations of neonicotinoid insecticides in wetlands, creeks and water bodies […] Read more


Federal scientists have been studying neonics and their potential impact on aquatic insects for several years. The final judgment was scheduled for this fall but it won't happen until the spring. | File photo

Neonic ban decision expected in six months

Health Canada says it will be ready by spring to announce if it plans to go ahead with decision to restrict the insecticide

Health Canada will make a decision on neonicotinoid insecticides in about six months. Federal scientists have been studying neonics and their potential impact on aquatic insects for several years. The final judgment was scheduled for this fall but it won’t happen until the spring. “Due to the vast amount of new information received, and the […] Read more

Federal scientists have been studying neonics and their potential impact on aquatic insects for several years. The final judgment was scheduled for this fall but it won't happen until the spring. | File photo

Neonic ban decision expected in six months

Health Canada will make a decision on neonicotinoid insecticides in about six months. Federal scientists have been studying neonics and their potential impact on aquatic insects for several years. The final judgment was scheduled for this fall but it won’t happen until the spring. “Due to the vast amount of new information received, and the […] Read more

A Health Canada spokesperson said in an email that COVID-19 has complicated its reviews and evaluations of the neonicotinoids.
 | File photo

Feds may delay neonic decision

The federal government was supposed to decide the fate of neonicotinoid insecticides this fall. The decision could still happen in the autumn, but it may be pushed back to a later date. A Health Canada spokesperson said in an email that COVID-19 has complicated its reviews and evaluations of the neonicotinoids. “The response to COVID-19 […] Read more


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.
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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