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Meeting of the Multi-Stakeholder Forum on Neonicotinoids: Record of decision

September 26, 2018 – Ottawa, Ontario


  • Receive an update from the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) regarding ongoing reviews and re-evaluations.
  • Address recent proposed special review decisions and discuss Forum’s next steps regarding the 90-day consultation and beyond.
  • Receive updates and next steps regarding each Working Group.

PMRA update

  • PMRA updated the Forum on the ongoing re-evaluations related to neonicotinoids, including the recent proposed special review decisions related to clothianidin and thiamethoxam. PMRA and the Canola Council of Canada provided an update on international regulations related to neonicotinoids and their impacts on international producers. PMRA noted that written responses to additional questions received during the September 6, 2018 webinar were issued on September 26, 2018. Industry asked if PMRA would accept other questions stemming from these responses. PMRA agreed to look at additional questions, but cautioned that staff are very busy on the re-evaluation process. PMRA requested that questions be coordinated amongst Forum participants, if possible.

Timelines for these reviews are outlined below.

Active Publication of Proposed Decision Publication of Final Decision
Imidacloprid (cyclical re-evaluation) November 23, 2016 December 2018
Clothianidin (pollinator assessment) December 19, 2017 December 2018
Thiamethoxam (pollinator assessment) December 19, 2017 December 2018
Imidacloprid (pollinator assessment) May 31, 2018 December 2018
Thiamethoxam (special review on aquatic Invertebrates) August 15, 2018 January 2020
Clothianidin (special review on aquatic Invertebrates) August 15, 2018 January 2020
Clothianidin (cyclical re-evaluation) December 2019 N/A
Thiamethoxam (cyclical re-evaluation) December 2019 N/A

Existing working groups (update and next steps)

  • Environmental Monitoring Working Group
    • The Environmental Monitoring Working Group updated the Forum on its activities noting that it has continued to monitor throughout 2018. The industry chair of the Working Group provided an overview of findings to date. The group will be distributing its 2018 findings to the Forum in the form of a report, and will be submitting its raw data to PMRA before the public consultation period for the proposed special review decisions closes on November 13, 2018. The Working Group has discussed continued monitoring for 2019, as well as the potential need for mesocosm studies (that is, studying aquatic invertebrate populations).
  • Mitigation Working Group
    • The chair of the Working Group provided a review of the Mitigation Working Group’s submission to the imidacloprid process, and an outline of what will be submitted as part of this consultation period. The Working Group noted that it will be updating its white papers on seed treatment and vegetative buffer strips, and review new information and data on spray nozzles.
  • Alternatives Working Group
    • The interim chair provided an outline of the next steps for the Alternatives Working Group. The former working group chair has retired, and the chair position remains vacant. Next steps include updating the existing alternatives information, through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and provincial expertise. The chair noted that industry associations will be asked to provide grower information on efficacy and real world viability of alternative products. PMRA noted that if possible information should be submitted in advance of the November 13, 2018 comment deadline. PMRA noted that they would like to receive as much data as possible by the November 13, 2018 deadline but they can receive data after the date, despite the review process continuing.
  • Overview on PMRA’s Agriculture Outreach Unit
    • PMRA provided an overview of the newly created Agricultural Stakeholder Engagement Unit (ASEU) at PMRA. The ASEU will be primarily focused on minor crops, but is being used as a pilot and may be expanded to include grains and oilseeds.
  • PMRA’s review of the Pesticide Re-evaluation process
    • PMRA provided an update on their review of the Pesticide Re-evaluation process, and the Treasury Board Secretariat Regulatory review process. The Re-evaluation review was announced on September 14, 2018, two years after PMRA completed its most recent Re-evaluation review process. The Regulatory review process closed for consultation on September 15, 2018. Many industry associations cited PMRA as a regulatory irritant in their submissions, and PMRA noted that there are linkages between the two reviews. The PMRA review is focused on the development of options for a PMRA re-evaluation process following an analysis of other jurisdictions models and experiences and stakeholder input.
  • Reflection on the usefulness of this Forum
    • There was a discussion session at the end of the meeting that focused on the usefulness of the Forum. Most industry groups noted that the Forum had been helpful in managing the neonicotinoids issue. AAFC noted that if the Forum is to continue, it would have a more strategic focus. In addition, AAFC undertook to provide some ideas that could be discussed at the next Forum meeting.

Action Items

Action Item # Action Item Responsibility
1 The Canola Council of Canada will share the value of neonic seed treatment information with Forum membership. Canola Council of Canada
2 PMRA will follow up with further information and minimum standards for water monitoring activities. PMRA
3 AAFC will circulate the information on PMRA’s website related to the review of the re-evaluation process AAFC
4 AAFC will circulate Christian Bart’s contact information for follow up questions related to water monitoring AAFC
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