March 15, 2010
With little fanfare, the federal government announced on Feb. 2, a decision to “uncouple” fertilizer-pesticide combination products intended for lawn and turf uses.

The date of last sale for fertilizer-pesticide combination products is Dec. 31, 2012.

According to Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), “Pesticides are often combined with fertilizers and sold as fertilizer-pesticide combination products, which are regulated by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency under the Fertilizers Act. When pesticides are combined with fertilizer such that the two components can only be applied at the same time and to the same area, the delivery mechanism for the pesticide component is brought into question.”

The new regulation focuses on the lawn and turf uses in or around residences, as well as public and commercial buildings, including schools, cemeteries, sports and recreational turf, such as turf in parks, playgrounds, golf courses, zoos, botanical gardens and athletic playing fields. This action does not include agricultural uses, or products that have a single active material with both fertilizer and pesticidal properties.

“Based on consultation with the provinces, experts and registrants, the PMRA concluded that fertilizer-pesticide combination products for lawn and turf uses do not support the goals of best practices for pest management in turf,” reads the Health Canada statement. The date of last sale for fertilizer-pesticide combination products on Dec. 31, 2012 is “in order to allow for replacement products to be made available where needed.”

PMRA says it will assess combination products in terms of the timing of application and flexibility to apply as a spot treatment, as well as potential risks to human health and the environment. “The PMRA decision to uncouple fertilizer-pesticide combination products is not based on the health or environmental risk assessments, but rather the nature of combination products. Combination products remove the flexibility of applying spot applications of the pesticide due to the need to accommodate the fertilizer, which is designed for broadcast application to the entire lawn surface at specified times,” states Health Canada.