Matador Banned for Animal Consumption
Matador Banned for Animal Consumption

Matador Banned for Animal Consumption

By Carys Kampen

University of Saskatchewan student



Syngenta and ADAMA Take Products Off the Market

Syngenta withdrew their insecticide Matador from the market in 2023. Matador is used to control grasshoppers in many crops, flea beetles in canola, and registered to control many other insects such as aphids, lygus bugs, and cutworms. This product is a group three chemical, and the active ingredient is lambda-cyhalothrin. Proven to be effective, Matador was a valued tool for growers in Saskatchewan. ADAMA also manufactures a product called Silencer which has the same active ingredient as Matador (lambda-cyhalothrin). Like Syngenta, ADAMA “is also recalling its existing stock. It has stopped taking new orders for the insecticide.”


The Pest Management Regulatory Agency Has Control

The exit from the marketplace came after the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) revaluated lambda-cyhalothrin in 2021. At that time the PMRA stated that the regulation would be fully effective in April 2023 because the PMRA deemed lambda-cyhalothrin products unsafe for livestock consumption.  However, the PMRA stated that the chemical is safe for humans. The “Pest Management Regulatory Agency is responsible for pesticide regulation in Canada”. The PMRA’s “programs and initiatives look to improve the regulatory process” and are “committed to providing an open, transparent and participatory process for pesticide regulation.”


The Agriculture Industry is Displeased  

This regulation has faced scrutiny from the agriculture industry because farmers have no choice but to comply with the regulation. People within the agriculture industry have stated that they would “like to understand the science … behind [the] concern” and want more information on why the decision was made to implement this policy. With lambda-cyhalothrin products being taken away, farmers have had to resort to other products that are often less effective and are more expensive.


Grasshopper Populations Were Devastating in 2023

Grasshopper populations have been on the rise in Saskatchewan for the last few years, dry areas of the province have been severely affected by both grasshoppers and drought. Multiple years of drought in a row have provided optimal conditions for grasshopper populations to increase leading to South Central, Southwestern, and Southeastern regions reporting extremely high grasshopper populations. There were anticipated concerns that grasshopper populations would be high in 2023 due to the long, hot, and dry summer of 2022. These were ideal conditions for grasshoppers to lay eggs; therefore, this contributed to the heightened pressure in 2023. Grasshopper damage began early in the growing season and persisted all the way through until harvest. Damage was immense and, in some areas, an “agriculture disaster” was declared. In the worst cases 100% yield loss occurred.


A Void is Occurring

There are alternative options to Matador and Silencer but many of the options are more expensive and do a poorer job. With the removal of Silencer and Matador from the market, it makes a challenging situation even more difficult for farmers. In 2023, there was a gap in the pesticide market because of the absence of Matador and Silencer.

 This regulation caused a lot of confusion and frustration in the agriculture industry. Farmers were already dealing with increasing pest pressure and then this policy was released in April. It makes sense that farmers had questions like: Why is it safe for human consumption and not animal consumption? How are we going to control grasshoppers? How is this going to affect my bottom line?


Disconnection Between Agriculture and Science

Farmers want Matador and Silencer to be sold in this country so that they can effectively control pests. It is not that lambda-cyhalothrin was fully banned either, just banned for animal consumption. The PMRA has distinguished scientists who made and defend this decision with studies and research. What they do not understand is the fallout from this regulation. This is another situation where the federal government is dictating decisions for the agriculture industry and it “reflects a lack of appreciation and understanding of how the grain sector functions.” It seems wrong that agriculture is at the mercy of decision makers who know little about the industry. I am sure that these scientists would not have known that crops grown here in Western Canada are consumed by both animals and humans; this is potentially the most frustrating aspect of this whole situation.


Congregating in Hopes of Reaching a Solution

Resolution is challenging in these situations; people want to use this chemical to protect their crops. But the PMRA believes that this policy is what is right to protect livestock. The only suggestion I have is for all concerned parties to meet. This means representatives from the federal government and provincial government, scientists from the PMRA, and agriculture representatives. Many of these groups are very far removed from one another. Farmers are looking for answers and want to understand this decision. Issues like this will continue to occur if decision makers do not consult the agriculture industry. Hopefully a resolution can be agreed upon.




Carys Kampen

My name is Carys Kampen, and I am a third-year Ag. Business student at the University of Saskatchewan. I am from a very small town, Fiske SK. Growing up I always knew that I wanted to pursue a career in agriculture; living in rural Saskatchewan and having a background in agriculture is ultimately why I am passionate about the industry. I have been lucky to obtain roles that further my knowledge within the industry. For the last two summers I was employed at a chemical and fertilizer retailer. I really enjoyed this position because it allowed me to have many learning experiences. This upcoming summer I will be working for BASF in a student sales role. I am looking forward to this new position and the 2024 growing season. It is very exciting to be a part of this rapidly evolving industry that has a profound impact on society.