Canada’s health regulator is planning to ban a controversial neonicotinoid pesticide, which it says has contaminated waterways and killed important aquatic insects. Health Canada wants to ban virtually all uses of the pesticide Imidacloprid. It said Imidacloprid poses risks to Canada’s aquatic wildlife. Studies have linked neonicotinoid use to bee deaths around the world, although whether it is to blame for colony collapse is still being debated.
In its environmental assessment, Health Canada said it frequently detected Imidacloprid in Canadian waterways. In agricultural regions where the pesticide was heavily used, the regulator detected levels “well above concentrations that may result in toxic effects to insects”.
Neonicotinoids work by affecting the central nervous system of insects, and are frequently used on corn and canola crops, as well as on everything from lawns and Christmas trees to flea treatments for pets.