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Concerns about bee health

Health Canada restricts certain pesticide uses

The Canadian federal government’s pesticide regulator says certain uses of a popular insecticide need to be restricted in order to protect the health of pollinators.

In its final decision, published Thursday, Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency said certain uses of three neonicotinoid pesticides -clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam-  will be phased out over the next two to three years, depending if alternative products are available.

“The scientific assessments show varying effects on bees and other pollinators from exposure to each of these pesticides. To protect bees and other pollinators,” the agency said in a release, “Health Canada has announced that it will be cancelling some uses of these pesticides, and changing other conditions of use such as restricting the timing of application.”

The pesticides have faced public scrutiny in recent years because of concerns over whether they pose a threat to pollinators and aquatic insects. In August 2018, PMRA recommended the use of clothianidin and thiamethoxam be phased out over three to five years, once the ban was approved, because of concerns the pesticide poses a threat to midges and mayflies — a key source of food for fish. A final decision on aquatic insects is expected in January 2020.

As reported by, the European Union has banned all agricultural uses of neonicotinoids because of environmental concerns.

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