Another neonicotinoid ban in the works: Health Canada proposes a plan to eliminate imidacloprid use across the country

Potato fieldCanadian producers may have to prepare for additional insecticide bans. Health Canada has completed a re-evaluation and is proposing a ban of the neonicotinoid imidacloprid. The draft risk assessment “proposes that current use of imidacloprid is not sustainable, and the levels of this pesticide that are being found in waterways and aquatic environments are harmful to aquatic insects, such as mayflies and midges, which are important food sources for fish, birds and other animals,” according to a release from Health Canada. Kevin Brubacher, general manager for the Ontario Potato Board, notes the significance of the ingredient. “Imidacloprid is effective in its control of Colorado Potato Beatles, Leaf Hoppers, Potato Flea Beatles and Aphids to name a few,” he said in an email statement. “It is an effective product that was originally approved after going through an extensive evaluation process. Potato Growers use this product in accordance to label instructions.” Health Canada is currently accepting public comments regarding the proposed plans in a consultation period, open until Feb. 21, 2017.  There will also be a multi-stakeholder forum focusing on the potential for alternative neonicotinoid mitigation strategies. More