Proposed Re-evaluation Decision PRVD2023-01, Abamectin and Its Associated End-use Products

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Pest Management Regulatory Agency
28 February 2023
ISSN: 1925-0967 (PDF version)
Catalogue number: H113-27/2023-1E-PDF (PDF version)

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Table of contents

Proposed re-evaluation decision for abamectin and associated end-use products

Under the authority of the Pest Control Products Act, all registered pesticides must be re-evaluated by Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) to ensure that they continue to meet current health and environmental standards and continue to have value. The re-evaluation considers data and information from pesticide manufacturers, published scientific reports and other regulatory agencies. Health Canada applies internationally accepted risk assessment methods as well as current risk management approaches and policies.

Abamectin is an acaracide/insecticide registered for use on a wide-range of outdoor field-grown fruit and vegetable crops, outdoor ornamentals, greenhouse vegetables and greenhouse ornamentals for the control or suppression of a variety of agricultural pests such as mites, sawflies, moths, thrips, leafminers, psyllids, aphids and certain beetles. It is also registered for commercial and domestic indoor and/or outdoor structural use to control cockroaches and ants. Currently registered products containing abamectin can be found in the Pesticide Product Information Database and in Appendix I of Proposed Re-evaluation Decision PRVD2023-01, Abamectin and Its Associated End-use Products. Appendix II of PRVD2023-01 lists all uses for which abamectin is presently registered.

This document (PRVD2023-01) presents the proposed re-evaluation decision for abamectin, including the proposed amendments (risk mitigation measures) to protect human health and the environment, as well as the science evaluation on which the proposed decision is based. All products containing abamectin that are registered in Canada are subject to this proposed re-evaluation decision. This document (PRVD2023-01) is subject to a 90-day public consultation period,Footnote 1 during which the public (including the pesticide manufacturers and stakeholders) may submit written comments and additional information to PMRA Publications. The final re-evaluation decision will be published after taking into consideration the comments and information received during the consultation period.

Proposed re-evaluation decision for abamectin

Under the authority of the Pest Control Products Act and based on an evaluation of available scientific information, Health Canada is proposing continued registration of some uses of abamectin and associated end-use products registered for sale and use in Canada. Risks to human health and the environment were shown to be acceptable when abamectin is used according to the proposed conditions of registration, which include the mitigation measures identified below

The following use of abamectin is proposed for cancellation since occupational postapplication risks were not shown to be acceptable when used according to the current conditions of registration, or when additional mitigation is considered:

With respect to human health, dietary exposure and risks were acceptable for the current conditions of use. For the application of abamectin via handheld airblast/mist blower, restriction to the amount handled per day is proposed for occupational risks to be acceptable, as well as the addition of specific personal protective equipment (PPE) when using this application equipment. Occupational mixer/loader and applicator exposures and risks were shown to be acceptable with the current conditions of use for all other application methods.

For occupational postapplication exposures to abamectin from onions (bulb and green), grapes and hops, restricted-entry intervals (REIs) ranging from 1–11 days are proposed for risks to be acceptable. Postapplication exposures and risks for all other crops were shown to be acceptable with current conditions of use (REI of 12 hours). Other PPE label instructions and spray drift statements are proposed to be updated to current standards.

The environmental risk assessment identified potential risk to pollinators, beneficial arthropods, birds, mammals and aquatic organisms when abamectin is used according to current label directions. The risks to the environment were shown to be acceptable when abamectin is used according to proposed conditions of registration, which includes new mitigation measures such as a reduced maximum cumulative application rate, the construction and maintenance of a vegetative filter strip to protect aquatic organisms and the use of spray buffer zones at the time of application.

Abamectin has value as an acaracide/insecticide as it is registered for use on a wide variety of field-grown fruit and vegetable crops, outdoor ornamentals, greenhouse vegetables and greenhouse ornamentals for the control or suppression of a variety of agricultural pests. It is also registered for commercial and domestic indoor and/or outdoor structural use to control cockroaches and ants. Abamectin is the only insecticide belonging to Mode of Action Group 6, neurotransmission inhibitor, therefore is a valuable tool in resistance management.

Risk mitigation measures

Registered pesticide product labels include specific directions for use. Directions include risk mitigation measures to protect human health and the environment and must be followed by law. The proposed label amendments including any revised/updated label statements and/or mitigation measures, as a result of the re-evaluation of abamectin, are summarized below. Refer to Appendix X of PRVD2023-01 for details.

Human health

As a result of the re-evaluation of abamectin, Health Canada is proposing further risk-reduction measures in addition to those currently included on abamectin product labels.

Risk mitigation:

To protect mixer/loaders and applicators using agricultural end-use products containing abamectin, the following risk-reduction measures are proposed:

To protect agricultural workers entering sites treated with abamectin, the following risk-reduction measures are proposed:

Label updates to meet current standards:

All commercial class end-use product labels are proposed to be updated to current standards, as it pertains to label PPE and best practice statements (spray drift).

All commercial and domestic class structural end-use product labels are also proposed to be updated to include a precautionary statement to protect domestic animals/pets.

Environment

Risk mitigation:

To protect the environment, the following risk-reduction measures are proposed:

International context

Abamectin is currently acceptable for use in other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member countries, including the United States, the European Union and Australia. No decision by an OECD member country to prohibit all uses of abamectin for health or environmental reasons has been identified as of 18 May 2022.

Next steps

Upon publication of this proposed re-evaluation decision, the public, including the registrants and stakeholders are encouraged to submit additional information that could be used to refine risk assessments during the 90-day public consultation period.

All comments received during the 90-day public consultation period will be taken into consideration in preparation of re-evaluation decision documentFootnote 2 which could result in revised risk mitigation measures. The re-evaluation decision document will include the final re-evaluation decision, the reasons for it and a summary of comments received on the proposed re-evaluation decision with Health Canada's responses.

Refer to Appendix I of PRVD2023-01 for details on specific products impacted by this proposed decision.

Other information

The relevant confidential test data on which the proposed decision is based (see References Section of PRVD2023-01) are available for public inspection, upon application, in PMRA's Reading Room. For more information, please contact PMRA's Pest Management Information Service.

Additional scientific information

Human Health

No additional scientific data are being requested. However, during the consultation period, the registrants and other stakeholders may submit the following information that could help address uncertainties in the available information for abamectin and support revised assessments of occupational post-application exposure and risk.

Value

No additional scientific data are being requested. However, feedback is sought regarding two aspects of the proposed decision.

  1. If registrants and users intend to request a delay of the implementation date of the proposed label amendments or cancellation (use on greenhouse ornamentals grown for cut flowers) of abamectin as per section 21 (3) of the Pest Control Products Act, Health Canada is seeking information on the suitability of the registered alternatives during the consultation period, including:
    • Limitations and challenges of registered alternatives such as efficacy, documented resistance in target pests, adoptability of production practices (for example, application method, application timing, variety sensitivity, regional use restrictions, soil texture variations);
    • Unique benefits provided by abamectin; and
    • Importance of abamectin (for example, pest significance, volume of use, percent crop treated and impact without the active).
  2. An application timing restriction is proposed to protect pollinators. For the following crops: pears, grapes, caneberries, strawberries, fruiting vegetables, cucurbit vegetables and tuberous and corm vegetables; application during the crop blooming period will not be permitted. Note that this restriction is currently labeled for apples. Stakeholders are asked to provide comment on the impact this restriction on managing pests that would be targeted during the blooming period.

Footnotes

Footnote 1

"Consultation statement" as required by subsection 28(2) of the Pest Control Products Act.

Return to footnote 1 referrer

Footnote 2

"Decision statement" as required by subsection 28(5) of the Pest Control Products Act.

Return to footnote 2 referrer

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