Media Release

CELA Celebrates Feds Decision to Stop Conditional Registrations of Pesticides

Jun 02 2016

Toronto – CELA is very pleased with yesterday’s announcement from the federal government that the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA)will no longer be able to issue conditional registrations on pesticides. “CELA's work revealed the extent of this problem,” said Kathleen Cooper, Senior Researcher with the Canadian Environmental Law Association.

During the fall and winter of 2014-15 a volunteer with CELA helped us dig deep into the PMRA public registry. “We found dozens of conditional registrations, overwhelmingly for the neonicotinoid pesticides implicated in worldwide decline of pollinators,” Cooper said.

Conditional registrations were issued by the PMRA allowing approval and use of a pesticide while requiring the pesticide manufacturers to conduct additional studies afterwards. While such studies were often characterized by the PMRA as minor, such as requiring monitoring data to confirm results of modelling conducted during a risk assessment, CELA strongly disputes this claim.

“The PMRA’s own language characterized outstanding studies about chronic toxicity in bees as a “critical data gap” in several notices issued under the Pest Control Products Act requiring the studies to be done,” Cooper noted. Moreover, in some cases the outstanding information, such as the bee studies, was incomplete for over a decade with no consequences for non-compliance with the law.

While this decision to eliminate conditional registrations only applies to new registrations, it is an important step towards making the pesticide registration process more accountable.

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For more information:

Kathleen Cooper, Senior Researcher kcooper@cela.ca 705-341-2488