Health Canada recently announced that as of June 1, 2016, it
intends to end the federal practice of granting conditional
registrations of for pesticides.
Under the Pest Control Products Act, SC 2002 c28,
("PCPA"), Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory
Agency ("PMRA") is tasked with evaluating prospective
pest control products for entry into, and ongoing use on, the
Canadian market. Such products must be registered by the PMRA
before they can in any way be used, imported, or manufactured in
Canada. Before a product can be registered, it must be evaluated by
the PMRA for its health and environmental risks. The PMRA is
required to consult with the public upon making a decision to grant
a registration application of a product.
Conditional registrations are governed under
sections 14 -16 of the Pest Control Product Regulations,
SOR/2006-124, to the PCPA. They are granted when the PMRA
determines that its review of available scientific data and
information is sufficient to determine that the risks of a
pesticide are acceptable, but it requires additional information
before granting a full registration.
According to the PMRA, conditional registrations comprise only
about one percent of all registered pesticides in Canada. However,
the PCPA's transparency and public consultations provisions do
not apply to conditional registrations–those provisions only
kick in when the registration is renewed, amended, or converted to
a full registration
Conditional registrations have drawn criticism from environmental groups,
particularly for the duration of "conditional"
registrations. Some conditional registrations have lasted for over
a decade–meaning that these products are in use without
having been subject to public consultation.Last Spring,the House of
Commons Standing Committee on Health published a report on its statutory review of the PCPA,
which included a recommendation that the PMRA undertake a review of
the transparency and openness of its pesticide registration
processes. The Standing Committee also recommended that the use of
conditional registrations be reviewed.
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