Launching consultations to modernize Canada’s New Substances Notification Regulations (Organisms)

News release

October 13, 2022 – Gatineau, Quebec

The health of Canadians and the environment are important to the Government of Canada. That is why it is taking the necessary steps to modernize the New Substances Notification Regulations (Organisms) to make sure new living organisms created through, or used in, biotechnology are properly assessed before they can be introduced into the Canadian marketplace.

Today, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, and the Minister of Health, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, launched consultations to help determine how the New Substances Notification Regulations (Organisms) can better protect human health and the environment through increasing openness and transparency in the risk assessment and regulatory decision-making process, all while enabling innovations in biotechnology that benefit Canadians.

Biotechnology is the process of using living organisms to make new products or technology intended to improve lives and the health of the planet. It is used in areas such as health, agriculture, aquaculture, and the environment, and dates back to the dawn of civilization when humans began fermenting foods. Living organisms include micro-organisms such as bacteria, fungi, yeasts, protozoa, algae, viruses, eukaryotic cell cultures, and other organisms such as animals and plants.

This consultation is hosted on PlaceSpeak, an online platform that will help the Government of Canada reach a broad range of stakeholders and interested parties, including biotechnology companies, environmental non-governmental organizations, and Indigenous communities. Interested parties can provide feedback on regulatory, non-regulatory, and scientific issues associated with the Regulations.

The deadline to register and provide feedback on PlaceSpeak, or by email at substances@ec.gc.ca, is December 5, 2022.

Quotes

“While biotechnologies are playing an increasing role in areas such as the environment, energy systems, wastewater treatment, and research, it is important that the rules regulating them are transparent and ensure the health and safety of Canadians and the environment. These consultations on modernizing our regulations will ensure we have a strong and flexible framework to address these ever-evolving technologies.”

– The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“It is time to update our New Substances Notification Regulations (Organisms) to better reflect our modern world. Modernizing these regulations, through this consultation, will allow access to the latest technology for a variety of applications, including for cleaning products, medical needs, and biofuels, while ensuring the health and safety of Canadians.”

– The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health

Quick facts

  • Created in 2005, the New Substances Notification Regulations (Organisms), under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA), is administered jointly by Environment and Climate Change Canada and Health Canada’s New Substances Program.

  • In July 2021, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada and Health Canada launched the Biomanufacturing and Life Sciences Strategy. The Government of Canada will invest more than $2.2 billion over seven years to grow a strong, competitive domestic life sciences sector with cutting-edge biomanufacturing capabilities, while creating jobs for Canadians.

Associated links

Contacts

Kaitlin Power
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
819-230-1557
Kaitlin.Power@ec.gc.ca

Media Relations
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll-free)
media@ec.gc.ca

Marie-France Proulx
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health
613-957-0200

Media Relations
Health Canada
613-957-2983
media@hc-sc.gc.ca

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Twitter page

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Facebook page

Health Canada’s Twitter page

Health Canada’s Facebook page

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