Labeling challenge will keep Matador and Silencer out of Western Canada for 2023

Syngenta Canada says it will not have its lambda-cyhalothrin-containing insectide, Matador, available to western Canadian farmers for 2023, but is working to have it back on shelves for 2024.

Matador is approved for use on a variety of crops, including potatoes and canola, however a label revision from 2021 comes into force in 2023, removing the approval for treated crops to be used as feed.

Another company that offers an insecticide product with lambda-cyhalothrin, ADAMA Canada, says it is consulting with industry before making the final decision on offering Silencer for 2023. In the meantime, the company has recalled any existing product in Western Canada.

Many are asking why this is happening now — and why product perhaps won’t be available so close to the seeding season, seeing as the label change was announced so long ago.

Anna Shulkin, head of regulatory stewardship at Syngenta Canada, says that when Syngenta read the 2021 decision on label changes, it began a submission for the reinstatement of feed uses and others in September of 2021.

Syngenta, and in turn, any companies selling the product, received word last month that those submissions had some technical challenges that need to be addressed, Shulkin says.

“We are working with the regulator to address (the technical challenges) now,” she sys. “But it was obvious to us that it will not be addressed for the 2023 season. So now we are working towards 2024 season.”

In the audio below, Cornie Thiessen, general manager of ADAMA Canada, says the challenge with the label is that canola, for example, is not necessarily segregated downstream to final end use. “That’s why we’re pausing to have these conversations with the industry to say, you know, while there is still some label uses allowed, is it really a practical product for farmers to still be able to leverage?”

Thiessen adds that farmers are increasingly dealing with flea beetle pressure in canola and that more options for control — not fewer — are required.

“Certainly, it’s really tough as a farmer to look at a crop that we know the world needs a good crop from Canada, and to see that crop getting chewed up by bugs is certainly a very emotional, but also very financially significant, impact,” he says. “The need for tools like this is very clear the last two years. In some cases, there may be some alternative products that farmers can access, but I think that’s going to be an open question for the industry to grapple with is, will there be sufficient tools available for the farmers to cover their needs in the spring?”

For 2023, Ontario growers will still have access to the products for horticulture applications, Shulkin adds.

RealAgriculture has reached out to PMRA with questions regarding the data to support the label changes, and was directed to this decision document as a reply.