Health Canada to consult on plan to phase out most uses of the neonicotinoids clothianidin and thiamethoxam 

News release

Clothianidin and thiamethoxam are being measured at levels that are harmful to aquatic insects, a key source of food for fish, birds and other animals

August 15, 2018 – Ottawa, ON – Health Canada

Protecting the health and safety of Canadians and their environment is a priority for the Government of Canada. That is why Health Canada regularly reviews all pesticides to make sure they continue to meet modern health and safety standards.

Following special reviews for two neonicotinoid pesticides, clothianidin and thiamethoxam, Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency has found that these substances are being measured at levels that are harmful to aquatic insects. These aquatic insects, which are a source of food for fish, birds and other animals, are an important part of the ecosystem. Based on these findings, Health Canada is proposing to phase out all outdoor agricultural and turf uses for clothianidin, and all outdoor agricultural and ornamental uses for thiamethoxam in the next three to five years.

Health Canada has published proposed special review decisions for both pesticides. These proposals will be subject to a 90-day consultation period, during which stakeholders and interested parties can submit comments on the proposed decision and provide additional data for consideration. Final special review decisions are expected to be announced at the end of 2019 and will take into consideration any comments or new information received during the consultation period.

Over the last decade, the amount of neonicotinoids used in agriculture has increased substantially. Recent water monitoring data indicate that neonicotinoids being detected in some Canadian water bodies are at levels that cause harm to aquatic insect populations.

Quick facts

  • Pesticides must undergo a rigorous science-based review before being approved for sale in Canada.

  • Health Canada scientists have reviewed more than 1000 scientific studies related to neonicotinoids and received more than 55,000 comments on our neonicotinoid consultations to date.

  • The Department regularly reviews pesticides to make sure that they continue to meet modern health and safety standards.

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Thierry Bélair
Office of the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health

Media Relations
Health Canada

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