Neonicotinoids in Canada

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Organization: Health Canada

Published: 2021-06-29

Neonicotinoids (neonics) are a group of pesticides used in agriculture to protect crops from various insects.  There are three main neonics currently approved for use in Canada: imidacloprid, clothianidin, and thiamethoxam.

Neonics are used across Canada on a variety of crops, from corn and soybeans, to many different vegetables such as potatoes and herbs. They can be applied to seeds, soil or plants, and can also be used to control insects in homes and fleas on pets, as well as to protect trees from invasive insects.

Health Canada’s role:

Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) is responsible for pesticide regulation in Canada. To be approved for sale in Canada, all pesticides must undergo a rigorous science-based review. Health Canada periodically reviews all registered pesticides to ensure they meet modern health and safety standards for protecting human health and the environment, and also reviews registered pesticides to respond to emerging concerns.

An example of this would be the series of scientific reviews for neonics that began in 2012, addressing the potential risks to bees and other native pollinators. Over the past years, Health Canada has identified, and immediately addressed, human health and environmental issues that have come up during science-based reviews for neonics, and in doing so, has created the following changes to registration:

What happened to the bees?

Visit for information on Best Management Practices to protect pollinators when applying pesticides.

Quick Stats:

(as of June 2021)

Working towards a better future

Over the past 8 years, these ambitious and rigorous scientific reviews of neonicotinoid pesticides have led to the following changes for Canada:

These changes will continue to create a more sustainable future for Canadian agriculture and the environment by:

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