Call for Mutual Recognition of MRLs on Crop Protection Products

CALGARY, June 23, 2015 /CNW/ - The Canadian pulse and special crop industry has come out in strong support of Canada recognizing trusted international assessments such as Codex, and utilizing risk assessments completed by regulatory bodies in other countries with whom Canada already has strong working relations in risk assessment.

Pulse Canada and the CSCA were responding to an Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority consultation document on policy looking at assessments, standards and decision, and a Government of India submission to a World Trade Organization (WTO) committee pointing out ways to use relevant information from another country or from a body like Codex to minimize the negative impact on trade that occurs when gaps exist in policy at the national level.

"The Governments of India and Australia have both encouraged discussion at the international level on how we can avoid additional costs and delays by recognizing the scientific assessments done by other competent agencies" said Lee Moats, Chair of Pulse Canada.  "Both papers suggest that assessments done by others can be accepted unless there is a demonstrated reason why additional requirements should be imposed" said Moats.

"The positions being expressed by India and Australia are aligned with Canada's draft low-level presence (LLP) policy", said Murad Al-Katib, President of the Canadian Special Crops Association (CSCA).  When implemented, Canada's LLP policy will enable Canadian regulators to move off Canada's strict zero tolerance for imports of any genetically modified (GM) crop that has not been approved in Canada if it has been approved by other countries using accepted global standards.

"Farmers, perhaps more than anyone, have an interest in ensuring safe food for all.  Not only do our livelihoods depend on it but the safety of our families too", said Moats.  "Indian and Canadian farmers have shared the same experience of problems with regulatory processes, not safety, that impact trade."

"This is not a new concept.  The World Food Programme already uses the principal of mutual recognition where they accept the MRL established in the country from which they are buying," said Al-Katib.

"The focus needs to be on how assessments are done, not who does the assessment.  I look forward to the Government of Canada playing a leading role in looking at our national policy, and in leading international policy discussions on mutual recognition," said Moats.  "This direction in policy reform will help Canadian farmers and farmers in developing countries.  It will ensure that resources are used to focus on food safety and do not unnecessarily duplicate good assessments that have already been completed."

Pulse Canada is the national association of growers, traders and processors of Canadian pulse crops. Canada is the world's largest supplier pulses, with annual exports reaching more than 150 countries.

The Canadian Special Crops Association is the national industry association representing processors and exporters of special crops in Canada. Canadian special crops include pulses - beans, peas, lentils and chickpeas - as well as buckwheat, sunflowers, mustard and canaryseed.

SOURCE Pulse Canada

Image with caption: "Pulse Canada (CNW Group/Pulse Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150623_C9809_PHOTO_EN_43715.jpg

Image with caption: "Canadian Special Crops Association (CNW Group/Pulse Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150623_C9809_PHOTO_EN_43716.jpg

For further information:

Gord Kurbis, Director, Market Access and Trade Policy, Pulse Canada & CSCA, (204) 925-3788, and gkurbis@pulsecanada.com


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