What farmers need to know about PMRA's transformation

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Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) is several years into what’s been dubbed a “transformation.”

The PMRA reform process started nearly three years ago, leading up to the 2021 federal election, and this initial “transformation” was to focus on four area: transparency, increase the use of real-world data and independent advice, strengthen human health and environmental protection, and a targeted review of the Pest Control Product Act.

Mac Ross, vice president of trade policy and crop protection with the Canada Grains Council, says there are several notable shifts that have already occurred within the PMRA since the process began.

“We’ve had our concern internationally with a divergence from science-based decision making with regard to some of our trading partners,” but never had a concern that Canada would move away from science-based decisions”, Ross says.  “For the first time we wondered if there were some cracks in the armour regarding the firewall around the PMRA.”

He says some of the changes in the last three years have been positive, including the development of a national water monitoring program, however there are other policy and business management areas that the Canada Grains Council wants to see progress on in the name of creating a predictable and cost-competitive regulatory structure for agriculture products.

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