Canada Releases Final Regulatory Decisions for Select Neonicotinoids, Fungicides

Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) has released the final regulatory decisions on the permitted uses of three neonicotinoids related to their evaluation on impacts to pollinators: imidacloprid, clothianidin, and thiamethoxam. For imidacloprid, PMRA is permitting continued registration of imidacloprid products with some label amendments. Seed treatments will continue to be permitted with additional label statements on products to minimize pollinator exposure to imidacloprid-containing dust during planting. However, the following restrictions will be implemented as outlined by PMRA:

  • Foliar applications to potatoes, grapes, legume vegetables (excluding broad beans/fava beans/Vicia faba), peanut, and tobacco will not be permitted during bloom.
  • Foliar applications to fruiting vegetables, herbs that are harvested after bloom, legume vegetables (broad beans/fava beans/Vicia faba only), berry crops (with renovation after harvest for woody berries), tree nuts excluding those with high pollinator attractiveness will not be permitted before or during bloom.
  • Foliar applications to pome fruit, stone fruit, certain tree nuts with high pollinator attractiveness, lavender, and rosemary will no longer be permitted at any time.
  • Soil application on legume, fruiting, and cucurbit vegetables when grown outdoors, herbs harvested after bloom, small fruit and berries (caneberry, bushberry low-growing berry, berry and small fruit vine excluding grapes), and ornamentals that are attractive to pollinators and planted outside will no longer be permitted at any time.

Similar to imidacloprid, amended label statements are required under the final decisions for clothianidin and thiamethoxam while seed treatments will continue to be permitted with risk mitigation strategies to minimize pollinator exposure during planting. Additional restrictions for clothianidin per PMRA:

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  • The number of foliar applications permitted on cucurbit vegetables will be reduced to one application per season.
  • Foliar application to orchard trees and strawberries, and to municipal, industrial and residential turf sites will no longer be permitted at any time.

Additional restrictions for thiamethoxam per PMRA:

  • Foliar application to legume and outdoor fruiting vegetables, and to berry crops (with renovation required for woody berries) will not be permitted before or during bloom.
  • Foliar application to sweet potato and potato will not be permitted during bloom.
  • Foliar and soil application to ornamental crops that will result in pollinator exposure (in other words, are planted outdoors and are attractive to pollinators) will no longer be permitted at any time.
  • Soil application to berry crops, cucurbit crops and fruiting vegetables will no longer be permitted at any time.
  • Foliar application to orchard trees will no longer be permitted at any time.

PMRA has also released its final re-evaluation decision for the fungicides: Ferbam, Thiram, and Ziram. PMRA concluded that evaluated risks were unacceptable for Ferbam and Ziram and will therefore cancel registration of these two products in Canada. This will result in the revocation of all maximum residue limits (MRLs) for Ferbam and Ziram in Canada on all commodities. The MRL will default to 0.1 ppm under Canada’s general MRL system. The phase-out timeline for these two products is 3-years from December 14, 2018 with revocation of MRLs scheduled for December 14, 2021. PMRA will consult and allow comments on MRLs for Ferbam and Ziram at a later date.

For Thiram, PMRA determined that product registration will continue but with label amendments and with certain uses cancelled:

  • All foliar uses on apple, peach, plum, strawberry, celery, and sweet potato (sprout root dip) will be cancelled.
  • All seed treatments of grasses, dry onion bulb, and alfalfa grown for forage will be cancelled.
  • All commercial seed treatment of wheat, barley, oats, canola, mustard, rapeseed, rye, triticale, and corn will be cancelled.
  • Importation into Canada of seeds treated with Thiram will no longer be permitted.

Additionally, as retained uses are primarily related ornamentals, PMRA will revoke all MRLs for Thiram. The MRL will default to 0.1ppm under Canada’s general MRL system. December 14, 2021 is the scheduled date for these cancellations and revocations to be in effect. PMRA will also consult and allow comments on MRLs for Thiram at a later date.

All active MRLs for Canada can be found in Health Canada’s Maximum Residue Limits for Pesticides Database.