National Newswatch

Farmers and others can support them with letters to the government.

 

Ottawa—Seven agriculture groups are seeking support from farmers and the public for federal consultations on changes to the Pest Control Products Act to result in a science-based pesticide regulatory system.

Cereals Canada, Canadian Canola Growers Association, Grain Growers of Canada, Canola Council of Canada, the Canadian Grains Council, the Canadian Produce Marketing Association and Croplife Canada have set up a system to send letters of support electronically to local MPs and cabinet ministers.

It can be found at www.advancingagriculture.ca/take-action

The groups say, “It is critical that agriculture’s voice be represented in this consultation and that there is strong support. Canada has one of the most robust, science-based pesticide regulatory systems in the world. It serves to both protect people and the environment, and enable Canada’s agriculture and food sector to supply safe, sustainable and abundant food.

Pesticides are part of a sustainable agriculture system that was recently recognized in last month’s federal budget. “Farmers across the country have already been leading the adoption of climate-friendly practices, like precision agriculture technology and low-till techniques. These technologies can help reduce emission and save farmers both time and money.”

Tyler Bjornson, executive vice-president of the Grains Council, said the government should put politics aside and stand behind science-based regulation for pesticides. “If the government truly believes in Canadian agriculture’s potential to be a global superpower, now is the time for actions to support the words. The agricultural community must have a strong voice to counter the voice of those groups who oppose modern agriculture.”

Canadian farmers have long been early adopters of new technology and innovations – something that makes them global leaders in agricultural production, he said.

Rick White, Canola Growers president and CEO, said, “The future viability of our farms relies on having access to both proven and new technologies that support economic and environmental sustainability over the long-term. Canadian farmers compete in a global market, and we cannot afford to lose access to the same safe and effective tools that our competitors have access to. Farmers need science-based regulatory processes that support our ability to grow and adapt in an ever changing growing environment.”

Canada is at a critical crossroads when it comes to how pesticides are regulated in Canada, said CropLife President and CEO Pierre Petelle. “This consultation comes at a critical time for Canadian agriculture. Canada has a long history of growing more food using less resources and we can continue to sustainably increase productivity to help meet the world’s demand for food but we need innovation to do it and that includes the latest crop protection products.”

Canada’s pesticide regulatory system is world-renowned and while there’s always room to improve, these changes must be thoughtfully made and grounded in science so as not to jeopardize the entire system. Introducing non-science-based changes to the system could undermine Canada’s ability to compete, drive improved sustainability and contribute to global food security for generations to come.

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