Canada: Proposed pesticide ban surprises Prince Edward Island Potato Board

Greg DonaldHealth Canada’s proposal to phase out a pesticide over three years will have a significant impact on Island farmers, says the P.E.I. Potato Board. Health Canada announced the possible measures Thursday for neonicotinoid imidacloprid, which is most commonly sold commercially as Admire. “It is a tool that’s used in the potato industry for managing Colorado potato beetle, which is a chewing insect which chews the foliage of potato plants,” said board general manager Greg Donald. Health Canada says the levels of the pesticide being found in waterways across the country is harmful to aquatic insects, such as mayflies and midges. The phase-out can be pushed to five years if there are no alternative pest-control products. The ban would be on agricultural uses, but Donald said many other sectors use the pesticide. “It’s also a product that’s used in everything from turf to Christmas trees,” he said. “That active ingredient is also, I believe, one of the more common products that is used in flea collars.” Health Canada has launched a 90-day comment period and will hold stakeholder forums. Reviews on two other neonicotinoids have also been launched. (Source: CBC News)