Neem-based Pest Control Products in Canada
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Linda Herbert
Posted on: January 17, 1999

I would like to know where to obtain BioNeem or neem oil for the biological control of insect pests. Is this available in Canada? I have contacted India but it is up to the purchaser to obtain importation papers. I just want a bottle of it to try on the aphids in my sun room.

Neem insect control products are widely available in the United States, but not in Canada. In Canada, the Pest Control Product Act and Regulations are so onerous to manufacturers that few will go through the expense of getting a PCP number for non-patentable products such as neem. In fact, as the years go by, we are seeing fewer natural pesticides on the market as the registrations for old standbys such as ryania and sabadilla lapse as manufacturers go out of business or change marketing focus.

This PCP law needs to be liberalized for natural products, otherwise, Canada is going to fall behind as the rest of the world moves increasingly to natural pest controls. We have seen many initiatives to develop and market natural pest controls fail because of the law’s restrictive rules.

The problem is that the government requires the same expensive safety and toxicity testing on natural pest controls as on chemical controls. While is true that a pest control derived from natural sources is not necessarily safe, the government does not take into account any traditional experience with natural products. In many cases, these products have been in use for hundreds or thousands of years. The government’s position is: even if you want to register plain water as a pest control, you must perform the safety and toxicity trials.

So, as a result there is no company in Canada selling neem-based pest control products. And you would not be allowed to import any, unless you apply for a research permit which is very restrictive.

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