In 2018–2019 (from April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019), 12 new active ingredients (the substance with the pesticidal effect) were registered for use in Canada, resulting in the registration of 23 new related end-use products (different formulations of products containing the active ingredient), according to annual report by the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA). Of the 12 new active ingredients, eight were biopesticides (derived from natural sources such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, plants, animals and minerals), three were conventional (in other words, chemical) pesticides and one was an antimicrobial.
Some examples of end-use products registered in 2018–2019 include:
• products to protect greenhouse and field food crops, and products to extend the shelf life of flowering and ornamental crops
• products to preserve industrial polymers such as rubber and PVC
• slimicides to be used in industrial sites such as oil fields
• biopesticides for use on cannabis
• a new insecticide to defend against Hemlock woolly adelgid, an invasive insect responsible for attacking and killing hemlock trees in Canada
The total number of active ingredients registered for use in Canada has increased from approximately 560 in 2007 to 658 towards the end of 2018. The overall number of registered products increased from approximately 5505 to 7707 between 2007 and March 2019, despite the removal of many older products.
Joint reviews are pesticide assessments conducted in cooperation with other jurisdictions. In the last two decades, Canada has progressed from developing pilot pesticide joint review approaches with the United States, to conducting joint reviews as a primary course of business. Registrants must apply to register their product in each participating jurisdiction at the same time for a joint review to be conducted.
In 2018–2019, of the 12 active ingredients registered, two were joint reviews. PMRA is currently piloting a new joint review approach with the United States Environmental Protection Agency to increase efficiencies on the review process. The pilot approach has been shared with international partners with the aim of increasing international interest in joint reviews, potentially leading to more global joint reviews in the future.
When a new pesticide is developed, the innovator invests substantial funds into the studies required to show that the product works as intended, and the health and environmental risks are acceptable. The data supporting a new innovation to Canada (in other words, a new active ingredient) receives exclusive use protection for a period of time, to prevent it from being used for the benefit of a competitor without the innovator’s approval. Data subsequently used to amend or maintain a registration or register a new product are given compensable protection.
This practice allows the innovator the opportunity to recover their investment, but also encourages further innovation by allowing competition on the market after a period of time. Allowing timely introduction of equivalent products by generic manufacturers following the exclusive period can enhance market competition to the benefit of users, including growers. These regulations are important to innovators, generic companies and to growers.
In 2018–2019, PMRA received 167 applications to register generic products. The number of generic applications received has remained higher than previously anticipated by PMRA. Recently implemented process changes are continuing to help PMRA meet its performance targets. There were 59 generic products (32 technical and 27 end-use products) registered in 2018–2019. PMRA continues to seek ways to improve the data protection program for innovator registrants, generic companies and PMRA.
A minor use is a use of a pest control product for which the anticipated volume of sales is not sufficient to persuade a manufacturer to register and sell the product in Canada. The definition emphasizes that it is the projected sales of the pest control product that is minor and not necessarily the size of the crop. A minor use may be registered on a major crop because the use may be needed only occasionally or is limited to a small percentage of the total area of the crop.
To help resolve these pesticide access issues for Canadian growers, PMRA works with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Pest Management Centre to provide regulatory advice that supports growers and grower associations in identifying priorities for new minor use registrations in Canada. PMRA also works directly with the provinces to assist in addressing regional minor use needs.
In 2018–2019, PMRA reviewed minor use submissions from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the provinces, and made 77 regulatory decisions, of which nine were joint reviews or workshares with the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Final label reviews resulted in the registration of 435 new minor uses.