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, a Bayer product, and thiamethoxam, which is manufactured by Syngenta.
Health Canada will release its findings, on whether the insecticides are safe for aquatic insects or not, in a couple of months.
“The results of these reviews are expected to be released, for consultation, in late summer of 2018,” said Scott Kirby, director general of environmental assessment with the Pest Management Regulatory Agency, a division of Health Canada.
The PMRA decision on the two neonicotinoids, commonly known as neonics, could potentially alter how Canadian farmers protect their crops from insect pests. Most producers like using the seed treatments because the products reduce the need for foliar insecticides.
“Because bees use nectar and pollen as their primary sources of food, bees may be exposed to harmful levels of this insecticide when they visit certain flowers," [said Kirby].
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