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 PEST CONTROL CANADA  

 
Pesticide Regulation Information For Canadians. 

 

Urban Pesticides are Regulated by Health Canada

Only products that pose no unacceptable risks to health and the environment are registered by Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency.

All pest control products used in or imported to Canada are regulated nationally under Health Canada's Pest Control Products Act (PCPA) and Regulations. The PCPA covers pesticides used in public health, urban landscapes and household applications.

Read more about the regulation of pesticides in Canada


Municipal Laws in Canada


Since 1990, when the municipality of Hudson, Quebec passed a by-law restricting the use of cosmetic pesticides on public and private property, pesticides have received considerable media attention in Canada. In 1991, two lawn-care companies challenged the Hudson by-law on the grounds that pesticide use was not within municipal jurisdiction. The court affirmed that municipalities do indeed have the power to pass by-laws regarding pesticide use, so the lawncare companies appealed the ruling. In 2001, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld the municipality’s right to pass the by-law.

Interestingly, although the health effects of pesticides were not argued during the Supreme Court challenge, the judgment implied that this had been an important factor in the Court’s decision .
Since then, many municipalities across Canada, including Toronto and Halifax, have passed by-laws restricting the cosmetic use of pesticides. Cosmetic use of pesticides remains a complicated issue involving arguments about the rights of lawn-care and pesticide companies, property owners’ rights, and increasingly, the health effects of pesticides.

 

Overview Info Links     


THE FEDERAL REGULATORY SYSTEM AND THE ROLE OF
THE PEST MANAGEMENT REGULATORY AGENCY


1.1    The regulation of pesticides is a shared responsibility between the two levels of government in Canada. The federal government is responsible for the pre-market approval and registration of pesticides, while the provinces and territories regulate the post-registration sale, use and distribution of the products within their boundaries. Depending on their enabling legislation, municipalities may also play a role in regulating use at the local level.

1.2    The authority for regulating pesticides at the federal level is provided under the Pest Control Products Act. Section 5 of this Act generally prohibits the sale or importation into Canada of any "pest control product" unless the product has been assessed and registered, it conforms to prescribed standards, and it is packaged and labelled in the prescribed manner. Given the broad definition of "pest" and "control product" in section 2 of the Act,2 this general prohibition applies to all manner of pest control products, including fungicides, insecticides, herbicides and antimicrobials such as disinfectants, swimming pool chemicals and wood preservatives. For ease of reference, the more generic term "pesticide" will be used throughout this report, even though the term is not used in the Act.

1.3    The Act is supplemented by the Pest Control Products Regulations. These regulations set out detailed provisions respecting the pre-market assessment and registration of pesticides, the cancellation or suspension of registration certificates and the labeling and packaging requirements. A further set of regulations prescribes the fees to be paid for product assessment and registration, and for maintenance of the registration certificate. These regulations are entitled the Regulations Prescribing the Fees to be Paid for a Pest Control Product Application Examination Service Provided by or on Behalf of Her Majesty in Right of Canada, for a Right or Privilege to Manufacture or Sell a Pest Control Product in Canada and For Establishing a Maximum Residue Limit in Relation to a Pest Control Product.

1.4    The Pest Control Products Act and companion regulations are formally administered by the Minister of Health. The day-to-day operations, however, are carried out by the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA). The PMRA was created within Health Canada in April 1995 to consolidate, under a single agency, the resources and responsibilities for pest management regulation at the federal level. Prior to the PMRA's establishment, several federal departments were involved in the decision-making process, namely, Health Canada, Environment Canada, Natural Resources Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, whose Minister was responsible for administering the Act. Although no longer involved in the decision-making process, these departments support the work of the PMRA, primarily through research and monitoring activities in their respective fields of expertise.

1.5    In order to register a pesticide for use in Canada, an applicant must submit detailed scientific tests and studies to the PMRA respecting the product's safety and value. Based on this information, the PMRA conducts a risk assessment, which considers the inherent toxicity of the product, the degree to which humans as well as the target and non-target environment may be exposed to it, and the possible harm to human health and the environment that might result. A value assessment is also carried out, which considers whether the use of the product will contribute to pest management and whether the application rates are the lowest possible to effectively control the target pest. It should be noted that the PMRA does not conduct its own tests when assessing a pesticide. Rather, it carries out a scientific review of the test data submitted to it by the applicant. The assessment process is discussed in detail in Chapter 8.

1.6    The PMRA also sets maximum limits for pesticide residues on food, which are promulgated under the Food and Drugs Act. These are termed the "maximum residue limits" or "MRL" for short.

1.7    Provided the prescribed requirements are met, section 13 of the Pest Control Products Regulations requires registration of the pesticide under review. Section 18, however, stipulates that registration must be denied where, among other things, the use of the pesticide would lead to an "unacceptable risk of harm to human health, plants, animals or the environment." What constitutes an "unacceptable risk" is not defined in the Act or the regulations.

1.8    Risk management of registered pesticides is achieved primarily through setting conditions of use. Non-compliance with the conditions of use set out on the product label or with any other condition of registration is a violation of the Act and may lead to a suspension, cancellation, use restrictions or the phasing out of the pesticide.

1.9    The PMRA is responsible for monitoring compliance with the Act. It carries out this function through a network of regional offices and inspectors across the country, in co-operation with provincial and territorial governments and other federal departments. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), on the other hand, is responsible for verifying pesticide residue levels in foods at the point of sale to ensure that they do not exceed the maximum residue limits set by the PMRA. The CFIA is also responsible for inspecting pesticide content in other products, such as animal feed.

1.10    Any person who contravenes a provision of the Act or the regulations is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $50,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or both. On conviction by indictment, a fine not exceeding $250,000 may be imposed, or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or both.  


2 The Act defines "pest" to mean "any injurious, noxious or troublesome insect, fungus, bacterial organism, virus, weed, rodent or other plant or animal pest, and includes any injurious, noxious or troublesome organic function of a plant or animal."

The term "control product" is in turn defined to mean "any product, device, organism, substance or thing that is manufactured, represented, sold or used as a means for directly or indirectly controlling, preventing, destroying, mitigating, attracting or repelling any pest and includes

(a) any compound or substance that enhances or modifies or is intended to enhance or modify the physical or chemical characteristics of a control product to which it is added, and

(b) any active ingredient used for the manufacture of a control product."

 

 

Links to Pesticide Information on the Web   

Pesticide Product Labels

Search Pesticide Labels online through PMRA's web site.  

Department of Justice Canada

Look up federal Consolidated Statutes and Regulations.  

The Pest Control Products Act and Regulations

Review the federal law that regulates all products used to control pests in Canada.

Pest Management Regulatory Agency

Get information about federal pesticide registrations at PMRA, Health Canada.

Transportation of Dangerous Goods 

Learn information about the transport of pesticides and where to take a Dangerous Goods course.

National Pesticide Information Centre  

Get objective, science-based information about a wide variety of pesticide-related subjects.

Canadian Network of Toxicology Centres (CNTC)

Find research information about environmental and human health from the CNTC based at the University of Guelph.

Pesticide Safety Programs, US EPA Office

Find out information about the pesticide safety programs ongoing at the US EPA Office of Pesticide Programs.

Pesticide & Toxic Chemical News   

Find information about the toxicity of pesticides.

 



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