Canada’s Health Ministry said it would limit the use of two types of crop chemicals that have been linked to deaths of certain aquatic insects. Health Canada’s multi-year review of clothianidin, made by Bayer AG, and thiamethoxam, a Syngenta Corp product, has revealed that some applications pose risks to the insects. The ministry has now restricted some uses for onion, lettuce, blueberry and potato crops.
Neonicotinoids are a class of pesticides that farmers have sprayed on crops since the 1990s. Health Canada made an initial decision in 2018 to ban all outdoor uses of clothianidin and thiamethoxam, before carrying out further consultations.
According to Scott Kirby, director-general of environmental assessment of Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency, Health Canada has since determined that some uses are not risky, provided that farmers take other precautions.
However, according to a Reuters article, various environmental groups think this compromise fails to protect wildlife and ecosystems.
“It is outrageous that Canada’s pesticide regulator is not delivering on its own proposed ban,” said Beatrice Olivastri, Chief Executive of Friends of the Earth Canada, adding that European countries have stopped using the chemicals.