Seed World

Health Canada Working with EPA to Investigate Risk of Neonics on Bees

Health Canada announces it is working jointly with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Department of Pesticide Regulation to investigate potential risks to bees from exposure to neonicotinoid insecticides clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam.
Health Canada recently published a number of updates on its work to investigate potential risks to pollinators from exposure to various neonicotinoid insecticides, including:

  • A progress update on the re-evaluations of clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam.
  • A preliminary pollinator risk assessment of imidacloprid. It will be open for public consultation starting on January 18, 2016 for 60 days. This is the first of three preliminary pollinator risk assessments. The clothianidin and thiamethoxam preliminary assessments are scheduled to be released for public comment in December 2016.
  • Health Canada’s value assessment of neonicotinoids used for corn and soybean seed treatments. It is now open for public consultation until March 6, 2016. This value assessment has been conducted as part of the re-evaluation of these neonicotinoids.

In addition, Health Canada has already implemented risk mitigation measures to help protect bees from exposure to neonicotinoid contaminated dust. While other factors may have contributed to the reduction in bee incidents (i.e. favourable weather conditions), with these measures in place, the number of bee incidents dropped by 70% in 2014 and 80% in 2015 compared to 2013, the department says.