PMRA Program Renewal
Protecting the health of Canadians and the environment from the risks of pesticides is the top priority of Canada’s pesticide regulatory system.
The global pesticide regulatory landscape is changing rapidly with continuous advances in science and technology; especially when it comes to new information and data related to pesticides.
In recognition of this, in December 2019, the Minister of Health was mandated to work with the support of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, to ensure that the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) makes timely science-based decisions to support the safe and sustainable use of pesticide products in Canada.
The regulatory system that has been in place for the past 25 years requires modernization in order to keep pace with current realities. The PMRA is now building a stronger pesticide regulatory program that will further strengthen the protection of Canadians’ health and the environment.
In 2018, PMRA launched a two-year project to explore options to create a more sustainable program delivery model and enhance health and environmental protection.
Initially, the project focus was on the post-market re-evaluation program, but as the analysis continued, it became apparent that changes across the full pesticide program were necessary.
After extensive engagement with a broad range of stakeholders and significant analysis of the issues, PMRA has designed a plan that will transform the pesticide program model in Canada.
A New Integrated Approach to Pesticide Evaluation
The Integrated Approach is purpose-built for Canada’s regulatory needs and is based on extensive analysis and information from internal, external and international consultation. The Integrated Approach touches on all parts of PMRA business from the initial registration through to re-evaluation.
Instead of having distinct pre-market and re-evaluation processes, PMRA would take a more continuous evaluation approach and create a more efficient and sustainable program delivery model for timely decisions and increased health and environmental protection by:
- Adopting a continuous oversight approach that leverages existing pre-market applications and renewal touch points to confirm safety, flag issues, or take action to identify and address health and environmental risk sooner;
- Updating re-evaluation process with a more precise scoping process, improving data/information collection early in process, and expanding engagement and transparency measures;
- Improving workload prioritization and management to focus resources on the highest priority pesticides first;
- Increasing transparency on the status and information needs for pesticide risk assessments throughout the full lifecycle of the pesticide;
- Ensuring PMRA has the necessary information on-hand to conduct assessments (examples include water monitoring information, real-world information on how pesticides are used in Canada); and
- Identifying value-added opportunities to work with international partners.
PMRA – Integrated Approach - What Was Heard Report 2020
Over the course of 2020, the Program Renewal team engaged stakeholders representing 141 associations and organizations through 24 sessions held across Canada and virtually. Through these discussions, the PMRA sought feedback from stakeholders on the Integrated Approach.
The 2020 What Was Heard Report aims to reflect and summarize the ideas, comments and feedback that were raised during the dialogue with stakeholders. We heard that these sessions afforded stakeholders with opportunity for meaningful input into government activities. From our perspective, the PMRA benefited from these opportunities to actively listen and engage with stakeholders across Canada, noting their feedback on the proposed Integrated Approach.
This report will inform the development and implementation of the new regulatory model.
The PMRA will continue to gather information and develop recommendations en route to renewing the pesticide regulatory program for strengthened health and environmental protection supported by the right data at right time, as well as increased efficiency for government and regulated community.
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