How we are transforming the Pest Management Regulatory Agency
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About the transformation
Over the years, Parliament, stakeholders, independent researchers, the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, the public and the PMRA itself have suggested ways to improve how the PMRA works.
These include ways to:
- further strengthen environmental and human health protection through modernized business processes
- improve transparency and access to information and data related to pesticide reviews and decisions
- increase the use of real-world data and independent advice
Transforming the pesticide program is a key priority for the PMRA and a mandate commitment for the Minister of Health.
Four pillars of transformation
The agency has built its transformation on four pillars of action:
- improved transparency
- increased use of real-world data and independent advice
- strengthened human health and environmental protection through modernized pesticide business processes
- targeted review of the Pest Control Products Act
1. Improved transparency
The scientific assessment process for pesticides protects human health and the environment. The review process is rigorous, evidence-based and complex. We recognize that the transparency and openness of our work is critical in strengthening trust in our regulatory decisions.
To help people understand what our role is and how we regulate pesticides in Canada, we are:
- revisiting the types of information and data currently available for review with an aim to improving access
- working to better explain how data is considered and factored into the decision-making process
- working to ensure that regulatory documents are written in clear, concise and plain language
- providing opportunities for engagement throughout the decision-making process
Openness, transparency and accountability are guiding principles of the Government of Canada. That is why we are making more data and information available to Canadians than ever before.
2. Increased use of real-world data and independent advice
We rely on data from a variety of sources, including:
- the pesticide industry
- pesticide users
- non-governmental organizations
- peer reviewed scientific journals
- other federal and provincial departments
Currently, PMRA's access to comprehensive, real-world data and independent advice about pesticides is limited. We are working to diversify the sources and increase the volume of information used to make decisions on pesticides.
When reviewing pesticides for human health and environmental safety, it's important to consider:
- levels of pesticides in Canadian waters
- information on how, where and how much pesticides are used in Canada
We are :
- establishing a program to collect and use more water monitoring data with support from sampling partners across the Canada
- developing a framework in consultation with various stakeholders to collect, monitor, analyze and publicly report on pesticide use information in Canada
We have also created a science advisory committee to obtain independent scientific advice on certain scientific aspects of our work.
3. Strengthened protection of human health and the environment through modernized business process
We will make changes to our business processes to ensure more responsive pesticide life cycle monitoring. Specifically, we are currently working to :
- modernize from a point-in-time model to a continuous oversight lifecycle approach:
- This includes expanding and formalizing the use of data throughout the pesticide's regulatory lifecycle to make better informed regulatory decisions.
- improve regulatory processes for increased efficiency and timely assessment and management of risks
- introduce a risk-based approach to allow the PMRA to direct resources where they are most needed to make timely decisions for overall improved health and environmental protection
4. Targeted review of the Pest Control Products Act
As part of this transformation, we have 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.
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