Proposed Maximum Residue Limit PMRL2021-04, Dimethoate

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Pest Management Regulatory Agency
11 February 2021
ISSN: 1925-0843 (PDF version)
Catalogue number: H113-24/2021-4E-PDF (PDF version)

Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) is reviewing the continued acceptability of older active ingredients and their associated end-use products under the current re-evaluation program. Since the initiation of the re-evaluation program, registrants have chosen to cancel uses for certain active ingredients and their associated end-use products. For agricultural commodities, the PMRA requires that those maximum residue limits (MRLs)Footnote 1 be revoked, unless additional data to support residues in imported foods are provided.

The PMRA published a Re-evaluation Decision document for dimethoate in 2015 (RVD2015-04). This Re-evaluation document communicated the discontinuation of uses that were no longer supported by the registrants, and indicated that corresponding MRLs would be revoked.

To comply with Canada’s international trade obligations, consultation on the proposed MRL revocations is also being conducted internationally by notifying the World Trade Organization, as coordinated by Canada’s Notification Authority and Enquiry Point.

Table 1 lists the legally established MRL for dimethoate in Canada that is proposed for revision, and the status of the corresponding American tolerance and CodexFootnote 2 MRL. Table 2 lists the legally established MRLs for dimethoate in Canada that are proposed for revocation, and the status of corresponding American tolerances and Codex MRLs. Following the revocation of these MRLs, these crops will be regulated under subsection B.15.002(1) of the Food and Drug Regulations, which requires that residues not exceed 0.1 ppm. A complete list of all MRLs established in Canada can be found on the Maximum Residue Limits for Pesticides webpage in the Pesticides section of the website. American tolerances are listed in the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations, 40 CFR Part 180, by pesticide and Codex MRLsFootnote 2 are available on the Codex Alimentarius Pesticide Index webpage.

Table 1 Comparison of the currently established Canadian MRL for dimethoate proposed for revision, with American tolerance and Codex MRL
Food commodity Current Canadian
MRL (ppm)
Proposed revised
MRL (ppm)
American Tolerance (ppm) Codex MRL
Lettuce 2 2.0 for leaf lettuceTable 1 Footnote 1 2.0 for leaf lettuce No MRL established for leaf lettuce
Table 1 Footnote 1

The established MRL of 2 ppm for “lettuce” is proposed to be revised to “leaf lettuce” to reflect current terminology.

Table 1 Return to footnote 1 referrer

Table 2 Comparison of currently established Canadian MRLs for dimethoate proposed for revocation, with American tolerances and Codex MRLs
Food commodity Canadian MRL
American Tolerance
Codex MRL
Apples 2 No tolerance No MRL
Cabbage 2 No tolerance 0.05 for savoy cabbage
Head lettuce 2 for lettuceTable 2 Footnote 1 No tolerance 0.3
Spinach 2 No tolerance No MRL
Table 2 Footnote 1

The established MRL of 2 ppm for “lettuce” currently covers both head lettuce and leaf lettuce. The use of dimethoate on head lettuce has been discontinued, and the corresponding MRL is proposed to be revised to “leaf lettuce” to reflect current terminology.

Table 2 Return to footnote 1 referrer

Next steps

The PMRA invites the public to submit written comments on the proposed revision and revocation of MRLs for dimethoate up to 75 days from the date of publication of this document. Please forward your comments to Publications. The PMRA will consider all comments received before making a final decision on the revision or revocation of these MRLs. Comments received will be addressed in a separate document linked to this PMRL. The established MRLs will be legally in effect as of the date that they are entered into the Maximum Residue Limit Database. The revocation of MRLs will take effect to allow sufficient time for legally treated commodities to clear the channels of trade.

Footnote 1

Before registering a pesticide for food use in Canada, the PMRA must determine the quantity of residues that are likely to remain in or on the food when the pesticide is used according to label directions and that such residues will not be a concern to human health. This quantity is then legally established as an MRL. An MRL applies to the identified raw agricultural food commodity as well as to any processed food product that contains it, except where separate MRLs are specified for the raw agricultural commodity and a processed product made from it.

Return to footnote 1 referrer

Footnote 2

The Codex Alimentarius Commission is an international organization under the auspices of the United Nations that develops international food standards, including MRLs.

Return to footnote 2 referrer

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