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Pesticide revisions implemented

Changes to the regulatory system for pesticides recommended more than a year ago by the Pesticide Registration Review Team were put into force by the federal government in early February.

The Review Teams report made suggestions to r improved protection of human health and the environment in the use of pesticides, while at the same time reforming registration procedures to ensure that farmers would have continued access to effective pesticide control materials.

The federal government will contribute $81 million over six years to put the changes into effect. Three quarters will come from the ``Green Plan" through the Ministry of the Environment, the balance coming from existing budget resources.

The Review Team included members of farm, forestry, chemical industry, health, environmental, consumer and labour groups; their report was unanimous with the exception of the labour representative, who issued a minority opinion.

Pesticide Registration Reform

The major points of the reform are: - an increase of resources providing access to newer, potentially safer and more effective pesticide products, along with an accelerated re

evaluation of older products; - the establishment of a Pest Management Alternatives Office to reduce dependence on pesticides by adopting preventative and alternative approaches;

- a more open and transparent decision-making process that will allow for greater public involvement and access to data;

- an improved transfer of health, safety and environmental information to farm workers and other users; - an improved availability of minor use pest control products. A pilot project permitting users to import a selected number of products from the U.S., that are equivalent to those used in Canada, will be launched;

- legislation to clearly define and strengthen the roles and responsibilities of Health and Welfare Canada and Environment Canada in the decision making process by which pesticides may be registered for use in Canada;

- the creation of an advisory council, composed of representatives from health, labour, environmental, consumer and industry groups to provide advice to the government on priorities, policies and programs affecting pesticide registration;

- the establishment of a Pesticide Management Secretariat in support of the Advisory Council, as well as to

co-ordinate intergovernmental efforts in pesticide management. Ivo Krupka, formerly with the federal government's Cabinet Secretariat and ministries of External Affairs and Employment and Immigration, has been named as Executive Secretary.

Pest Management Alternatives Office (PMAO)

The mandate of the PMAO will be to support the integration of pest management with broader goals of environmental sustainability. It will include scientific information management and promotional fu notions, and will serve as a central focus and clearing house for national efforts to: - develop, heighten awareness of, ecologically sound pest management strategies that reduce human health and environmental risks, while optimizing efficiency;

- reduce dependence on pesticides by adopting preventative and alternative approaches;

- promote measures that encourage only the minimum use of presently registered pesticides.

The mandate will extend to all sectors of pesticide use, including agriculture, forestry, industrial, commercial, lawn and turf, and domestic.

Copyright 1992 REAP Canada.

Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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