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Ag sector supports Bill C-359

Ag sector supports Bill C-359

The legislation would speed up regulatory approvals for feeds, seeds and pest control products

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

The ag community has voiced its support for a bill designed to speed up regulatory approvals for important products.

Liberal MP Kody Blois introduced Bill C-359 in the House of Commons on Oct. 18.

This bill calls for amendments to the Feeds Act, the Seeds Act and the Pest Control Products Act to bring new products to the Canadian market faster.

It would provide 90-day “provisional registration or approval of feeds, seeds and pest control products that are already approved by two or more trusted jurisdictions,” the bill says.

Trusted jurisdictions could include the U.S., Australia or the European Union, Blois said on Oct. 19 while speaking about the bill. But ultimately regulatory bodies like Health Canada, the CFIA and PMRA would identify those jurisdictions, he said.

Canada’s ag community is in favour of the bill because of its commonsense approach.

By trusting the science and regulatory processes of trusted partners, Canadian farmers can remain competitive by gaining access to cutting edge technology.

“The bill gives farmers timely access to the most innovative products on the world stage today,” Kyle Larkin, executive director of Grain Growers of Canada, told Farms.com. “The issue we face is sometimes products are delayed by the regulatory processes we have here in Canada.”

And these delays can be yearslong.

For example, earlier this month Syngenta announced it received approval to bring its Talinor herbicide to the Canadian market.

But the same herbicide with the same modes of action in the United States received approval from the Environmental Protection Agency in 2016.

In the U.S., farmers can use lambda-cyhalothrin insecticides.

But an updated label from the PMRA in April indicates crops treated with lambda-cyhalothrin cannot be used as livestock feed.

“There’s a history of these kinds of delays, so this bill isn’t coming out of the blue,” Larkin said. “There’s a real impact on the Canadian farm economy when our farmers don’t have the same access to products that our competitors do.”

Other industry groups joined Grain Growers of Canada in supporting Blois’s bill.

The Canadian Cattle Association is “pleased to see the innovative principles of Bill C-359 as it aims to reduce regulatory burdens for farmers and ranchers and ensure our global competitiveness.” Nathan Phinney, president of the CCA, said in a statement.

The Canadian Canola Council says “now, more than ever, we need to support innovation and put tools in the hands of Canadian farmers as we work to feed and fuel the world. Bill C-359 can help bolster Canada’s competitiveness, address global food security and increase the resilience of Canada’s agricultural sector.”

One challenge this bill will have is where it lies in the ranking of other pieces of legislation.

Because Blois isn’t a cabinet minister or parliamentary secretary, Bill C-359 is considered a private member’s bill.

Therefore, he’ll be looking for support from other MPs.

“I would encourage any member to perhaps take their name to it if they are higher up on the bid,” he said in the House of Commons on Oct. 18. “I will be calling on the government to introduce this legislation in budget 2024.”


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