Health Canada Plans to Drop Conditional Pesticide Registrations


Health Canada has issued notice it intends to stop granting new conditional registrations for pesticides as of June 1st, 2016.

“The Government of Canada is committed to making regulatory decisions that are open and transparent, which is why we have decided to discontinue the use of conditional registrations,” said Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, earlier this week.

According to Health Canada, conditional registrations have declined over the years and only account for approximately one percent of all registered pesticides in Canada. They are granted after a scientific review has determined that risks from a pesticide are acceptable, but the Pest Management Regulatory Agency requires additional information, such as monitoring data to confirm results of models used in the risk assessment. Unlike full registrations, the public transparency requirements in the Pest Control Products Act do not apply unless a conditional registration is renewed or converted to a full registration.

Last April, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health recommended the PMRA review the openness of its pesticide registration process to ensure the public can provide meaningful and informed input. The Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development has also recommended the PMRA cut the number of conditional registrations issued and the length of time pesticides can remain conditionally registered. Health Canada’s notice states that a number of non-governmental organizations have raised concerns with the lack of transparency in conditional registrations.

Pierre Petelle, vice-president of chemistry at CropLife Canada, stresses conditional registrations “are not a matter of health and safety.”

“Any product that has received a conditional registration from Health Canada’s PMRA has passed a thorough health and safety assessment. Conditional registrations have long been misunderstood and we hope that this move will help increase the public’s confidence in Canada’s world class regulatory system. We anticipate that Health Canada will continue to deliver on its commitment to a predictable, science-based regulatory system,” he says.

A 60-day comment period on the proposal will end March 19th.

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