Science Advisory Committee on Pest Control Products: Nomination Call for Members
As part of the August 4, 2021 Government of Canada announcement to strengthen the capacity and transparency of review processes for pesticides, the government committed to the creation of a new expert panel process to provide advice, as appropriate, prior to evidence-based decisions of Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) on pesticides, including on pesticide maximum residue limits (MRLs).
Health Canada is establishing a new Science Advisory Committee on Pest Control Products, which will provide independent scientific advice to support evidence-based decision making on pesticides. PMRA maintains the responsibility and the sole authority to make regulatory decisions on pesticides taking into consideration the advice provided by the Committee. The Committee will review scientific information pertaining to certain Health Canada pesticide evaluations conducted as part of new applications to register or amend a pesticide product, requests to modify a maximum residue limit (MRL), special reviews or re-evaluations.
The Committee will provide scientific advice in response to specific technical questions from Health Canada. Issues for committee consideration could include:
- Scientific advice on specific technical aspects of PMRA human health risk assessments such as interpretation of adverse effects in toxicology studies, selection of safety factors, derivation of hazard reference values, maximum residue limits or application of novel risk assessment approaches.
- Scientific advice on specific technical aspects of PMRA environmental risk assessments such as interpretation of physical, chemical and fate parameters, adverse effects in ecotoxicology studies, selection of species sensitivity factors or novel risk assessment approaches.
- Scientific advice on a pesticide's value in contributing to managing a relevant pest problem in Canada.
- Scientific advice on specific technical aspects of pesticide risk management options.
This Science Advisory Committee will run independently from the existing Pest Management Advisory Council (PMAC), which provides broad non-scientific advice to the Minister of Health on the strategic direction, management, and overall priorities for PMRA and the pesticide program.
In striking this committee, Health Canada is seeking nomination (including self-nomination) from experts with a wide range of knowledge and experience. Health Canada will be appointing 5-8 core members to the Committee who have broad, knowledge of pesticides and pest management, pesticide use in Canada, chemical risk assessment and pesticide value assessment. In addition, Health Canada is seeking nominations for a roster of experts who will provide technical expertise to the Committee on an ad hoc basis depending on the nature of the question from PMRA. Core and ad hoc nominees should have current expertise that may include, but not be limited to areas such as:
- Biological sciences
- Environmental sciences
- Human toxicology
- Environmental toxicology
- Human health risk assessment
- Environmental fate, modelling and risk assessment
- Statistics and analysis of scientific data
- Pesticide use
- Pesticides and traditional land use
- Pest management
- Toxic substances management
- Regulatory experience in chemicals management
- Other expertise relevant to the mandate of the Committee
Core members will be permanent members for the duration of their terms (minimum of three years), which may be extended for additional terms based on Health Canada's needs and the members' availability and willingness to continue their membership. Ad hoc members will be invited to serve for a specific question(s).
Health Canada will appoint core and ad hoc members from among the nominees, following a review by a selection committee. There are no limitations on who can apply to be a core or ad hoc member of the Committee; however, Health Canada will take into consideration conflict of interest in the selection of committee members. Health Canada prefers members with no direct, or indirect, affiliations and interests with pesticide product industries and/or organizations that advocate for, or against, pesticide use over the past 2 years. An external conflict of interest expert will advise the selection committee as necessary. Members will be selected based on the required expertise, the individual's breadth of experience and his or her familiarity with committee work. Consideration will also be given to the candidate's ability to balance scientific rigour with practical considerations, regulatory requirements and international perspectives. Health Canada strives in its selection of members to ensure, where possible, equitable and diverse representation from individuals of different sex, gender, age, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, migration status, and geographic regions.
The selection committee will be composed of Government of Canada staff with expertise in pesticide science and may include:
- Representatives from the Office of the Chief Science Advisor to Health Canada
- Director General of the PMRA Policy and Operations Directorate
- Director General of the PMRA Health Evaluation Directorate
- Director General of the PMRA Environmental Assessment Directorate
- Director General of the PMRA Registration Directorate
- Director General of the PMRA Value and Re-evaluation Management Directorate
The Committee will operate virtually by default with meetings held using video conferencing platforms. The core Committee will meet a minimum of three times per year, and the first meeting is expected to be held in spring 2022. It is expected that the Committee will provide advice in response to 5-10 questions from PMRA per year. The Committee will provide advice in response to questions related to certain evidence-based decisions of PMRA. Not all decisions of the PMRA will be considered by the advisory Committee.
Members will not be compensated for participation in the Committee but will be reimbursed for any expenses incurred during their work on the Committee, according to Treasury Board's Directive on Travel, Hospitality, Conference and Event Expenditures.
All members serve on the Committee on a volunteer basis. In keeping with the Treasury Board's Policy on Legal Assistance and Indemnification, members are eligible for the same protection against personal civil liability as federal employees when faced with comparable risks while acting within the mandate of the Committee and serving as volunteers.
To be considered for appointment, all core and ad hoc members must undergo government security clearance, provide a short biography, sign a Confidentiality Agreement, and provide a declaration of their affiliations and interests. A summary of the affiliations and interests declarations and biographies will be posted to Health Canada's website.
Additional information on how the Committee will be selected and its functioning can be found in the Terms of Reference and the Health Canada Policy on External Advisory Bodies.
Nominations should contain the following information:
- Contact information
- Area(s) of expertise
- A statement indicating whether the individual would be interested in serving as a core member of the Committee, chair of Committee or an ad hoc scientific expert member
- Rationale (no longer than 500 words)
- Affiliations and Interests Declaration Form
- A current Curriculum Vitae
In accordance with the Privacy Act, all personal information collected will be protected and treated according to Government of Canada records management standards.
Nominations must be received by March 11, 2022.
To submit a nomination, or for any questions, please contact us at:
Science Advisory Committee on Pest Control Products Secretariat
Policy and Operations Directorate
Pest Management Regulatory Agency
2720 Riverside Drive
Or via email: email@example.com
Thank you for your interest in this important initiative.
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