Be Heard: Submit Your Comments to the PMRA on the Neonicotinoid Regulatory Review

Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency released a notice of intent in September 2013 to change label requirements of neonictoinoid seed treatment products used on corn and soybean seed after it was determined that “…current agricultural practices related to the use of neonicotinoid treated corn and soybean seed are not sustainable.”

The notice of intent is posted online, and is open for comments for 90 days. That 90 day period ends December 12, 2013, and farmers and members of the agriculture industry are encouraged to submit their comments. The actual notice of intent lists four label requirement changes for 2014, and does not mention banning these products, however, activist groups have begun a “click to submit” campaign calling for an all-out ban of neonicotinoid products.

See more: An interview with Steve Denys on the role of neonic seed treatments in crop production and the impact of a ban

While the label review only applies to corn and soybean seed treatments, other commodity groups are asking their members to ensure their voice is heard and are encouraging famrers to speak up in support of a science-based regulatory review. The website beecounted.ca simplifies the process of submitting comments on the notice of intent. The Canadian Canola Growers Association is also supportive of the PMRA’s decision-making process, which is “based on credible, science-based risk assessments,” and is encouraging its members to submit comments as well. You can do so by clicking here.

“Neonicotinoid pesticides are an important tool for canola growers and we know that safe and responsible use of these products is essential,” says an association representative. “Some activist groups are using the Notice of Intent as a means to call for a ban on the use of neonicotinoids.  We believe that farmers need to sound their voice on this issue, as the consequences of such an unsubstantiated ban would be detrimental to the responsible use of insect control products that canola farmers use today and dramatically impact future innovations.  It is because we support a regulatory decision-making process, which is based on credible, science-based risk assessments that we’ve asked farmers to speak up at: http://www.ccga.ca/Pages/NOI2013-01.aspx.”

To read the actual notice of intent, which outlines the PMRA position and 2014 requirements for neonicotinoid use,
click this link. In that notice is a reference to instituting regulations similar to what the US EPA did this last August. Find those changes here.

For more information on the consultation and review process as outlined on the Health Canada page, click here.

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