Neonicotinoid insecticide levels ‘well below’ those toxic to aquatic life in Canada, research shows

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Image source: Elena Elisseeva

A study into the presence of neonicotinoids in Canadian waterways suggests a ban or restriction of neonicotinoid seed treatments is not necessary.

The Environmental Monitoring Working Group (EMWG) was set up to monitor the presence of imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam in waterways after Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) 2016 decision to phase out imidacloprid in three to five years.

The PMRA cited acute and chronic risks to aquatic invertebrates as reasons for the ban, and its final decision on whether to ban imidacloprid is expected in December.

The PMRA is also reviewing and may ban two other neonicotinoids, thiamethoxam and clothianidin, because of their effects on aquatic insects. The final decisions on these neonicotinoids are expected to be made in 2020.

“Detection frequency and concentration of imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam were low, with majority being below the limits of detection. When detected, the insecticides were typically well below the chronic or acute endpoints established by PMRA for imidacloprid. By the middle or end of July, the insecticides were no longer detectable, said Warren Ward of the Canola Council of Canada during the University of Saskatchewan’s Soils and Crops event in Saskatoon.

Related article:  Organic produce has pesticide residues too

“The data does not support any kind of restriction or ban on neonicotinoid seed treatment use, especially for field crops such as canola, pulses, cereals,” Ward said.

Read full, original post: Study says neonicotinoid ban not the answer

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