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Canada invites stakeholders’ response to new pesticide rules

Canada invites stakeholders’ response to new pesticide rules

HQ Team

July 12, 2023: Canadian government has invited stakeholders’ feedback on proposed amendments to the Pest Control Products Regulations on planned curbs on maximum residue limits and a ban on the use of pesticides for cosmetic purposes.

Health Canada, the department of the Government of Canada responsible for national health policy, has published a consultation on a Notice of Intent on the new limits.

The 60-day consultation runs from June 20, 2023, to August 19, 2023. The proposed amendments seek to facilitate access to confidential test data, including for research and re-analysis purposes.

It sought to increase transparency for maximum residue limit applications for imported food products and to give the Minister of Health the explicit authority to require the submission of available information on cumulative environmental effects.

Notice of Intent

The minister’s power to consider cumulative effects on the environment during risk assessments where information and methodology are available was also stated.

The Notice of Intent stated that the government wants to strengthen consideration of species at risk in risk assessments by giving the minister the explicit authority to require the submission of available information on species at risk.

The Canadian government had drawn up new steps to their sustainable approach to pesticide management last month. 

As part of the announcement, Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) will resume the evaluation of increases to pesticide maximum residue limits (MRLs). 


Science-based evaluations of MRL increases were paused in August 2021 in relation to the PMRA’s review of glyphosate.

The announcement did not provide a timeline for when consultation on glyphosate MRL revisions may resume, according to a statement from the United States Department of Agriculture. 

Health Canada continues to review consultation feedback from the 2022 consultation on glyphosate. The announcement also included a commitment by the Government of Canada to ban the use of pesticides for cosmetic purposes.

This commitment is made under the Treasury Board of Canada-led Greening Government Strategy. Details on how cosmetic purposes will be defined have not been released. 

Strengthen regulators

Health Canada is also responsible for numerous federal health-related agencies, including the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the Public Health Agency of Canada, among others.

It also works closely with a number of international organizations, including the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the North American Free Trade Agreement Technical Working Group, and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

As part of its transformation, the PMRA conducted a targeted review of the Pest Control Products Act. 

“This targeted legislative review has helped the PMRA to determine whether legislative changes to the PCPA are required to modernize and strengthen the regulatory system on issues like transparency, modernized business processes, and the use of real-world data,” according to the agency.

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