Response to Comments Received on PMRL Consultation for Glyphosate (PMRL2014-78)


Several comments were received on, why Health Canada is proposing to establish a Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) of 40 ppm in/on imported undelinted cotton seeds, on the regulation of glyphosate products in Canada and on whether specific scientific studies have been evaluated by the Department.

PMRA Response

Health Canada's priority is to protect the health and safety of Canadians, their environment and their food supply. This priority is applied when approving the levels of pesticide residues in imported food. Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency's (PMRA's) role is to ensure that the presence of residues on foods imported into Canada, do not pose human health concerns to any segment of the Canadian population such as infants and toddlers, pregnant and nursing mothers, and the elderly.

As part of the health risk assessment process, Health Canada must determine whether the consumption of the maximum amount of residues that are likely to remain on food is acceptable (i.e., unlikely to cause a health concern to any segment of the population). Canadian Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) are set at levels far below the amount of pesticide residue that could pose a health concern. Import MRLs are set for potential residues that could be found on the food at the point of entry into Canada and as in the case of the proposed MRL of 40 ppm for glyphosate in/on imported undelinted cotton seeds, are established to ensure that foods imported into Canada meet Health Canada's stringent pesticide residue standards before their distribution in Canada.

Registered pesticides regularly undergo re-evaluation to ensure that they continue to meet modern standards for human health and environmental protection and provide value. Health Canada's (PMRA) has recently conducted a re-evaluation of glyphosate, as outlined in the Proposed Re-evaluation Decision document for glyphosate (i.e., PRVD2015-01). With respect to whether specific scientific studies have been considered, in conducting the re-evaluation of glyphosate Health Canada worked in collaboration with the United States Environmental Protection Agency to examine a wide range of environmental and health related data and information, including peer-reviewed, published scientific studies. The studies that were identified in the comments submitted with respect to the MRL proposal in PMRL2014-78 were considered in PMRA's hazard assessment related to the re-evaluation.

The public is invited to submit written comments on the proposed re-evaluation decision (PRVD2015-01) for consideration by Health Canada. The proposed re-evaluation decision PRVD 2015-01 has been posted on Health Canada's website and the Department invites Canadians to provide science-based comments regarding this re-evaluation.

As the comments received did not impact the proposed MRLs, those have been established as proposed in PMRL2014-78.

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