The federal government is adopting a new way to manage pesticides, which seems to give a larger role to Environment and Climate Change Canada.
On June 20, the government announced the next steps toward a “sustainable approach to pesticides management.”
In the past, Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency was responsible for pesticide regulation in Canada.
But the federal press release, from yesterday, suggests that the environment department will become more involved in pesticide oversight.
“ECCC will generate real-world data to help make progress on this sustainable approach to pesticides management in Canada and to better understand the impacts of pesticides on the environment,” the release says.
The federal government says it is implementing the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework with an objective of preserving biodiversity.
That commitment includes “reducing the overall risk from pesticides by at least half by 2030,” the government say.
The statement made it clear that this isn’t about cutting pesticide use in Canada.
“There are many ways to reduce risk that are not correlated to reduction in pesticide use — for example, the timing of application, the effectiveness of a given product, science and other pest management approaches.”
The government also said it will stop the use of pesticides for cosmetic purposes on federal lands, which possibly includes national parks.
CropLife Canada, which represents pesticide manufacturers and crop science companies, is disappointed with the decision.
“The government’s newly announced plan to ban the cosmetic use of pesticides on federal lands runs in direct contradiction to its own risk-based approach to pesticide regulation,” CropLife said June 20.
“Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency thoroughly assesses all pesticides for safety. For Health Canada to deem pesticides safe and then turn around and ban them for so-called cosmetic purposes on their own lands, sends conflicting messages to Canadians.”
In another part of the news release, Health Canada said it is starting a consultation for proposed amendments to the Pest Control Products Regulations.
The consultation is open for 60 days, ending Aug. 19.
The proposed amendments will do the following:
- Increase public access to confidential test data (CTD), including for research and re-analysis purposes.
- Increase transparency for maximum residue limit (MRL) applications for imported food products.
- Give the minister of health the explicit authority to require submission of available information on cumulative environmental effects.
- Require the minister to consider cumulative effects on the environment during risk assessments.
- Strengthen consideration of species at risk, giving the minister the explicit authority to require the submission of available information on species at risk.
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