Bill C-359 Will Improve Farmers’ Competitiveness While Enhancing Food Security

October 20, Ottawa – CFA supports Bill C-359 proposed by MP Kody Blois, An Act to amend the Feeds Act, the Seeds Act and the Pest Control Products Act (provisional registration and approval) and calls for the urgent implementation of the measures contained within this Bill to support Canadian agriculture’s competitiveness.

The ability of farmers to have timely access to crop inputs such as feed, seed and products for use in pest management, while maintaining Canada’s rigorous regulatory requirements, is extremely important. If producers are to remain competitive in the global market, we must ensure they have access to the products they need, when they need them.

This Bill echoes many of CFA’s longstanding recommendations regarding the approval process for new seed, feed or pest control products. In essence, the Bill would create an expedited, provisional path for regulatory approval for feed, seed or pest control products which have already been approved by “trusted jurisdictions”, which meet Canadian regulatory and safety requirements.

“This Bill will reduce the delays associated with often-duplicated efforts by regulators in different jurisdictions and allow for quicker, provisional approval of these types of products, while still allowing for fulsome regulatory reviews to ensure there is no compromise to public health or safety,” said Keith Currie, CFA President.

By leveraging the approvals of other jurisdictions, Canadian regulators can speed up their own regulatory processes without sacrificing transparency or impeding science-based approval decisions. This will improve the competitiveness of Canadian farmers by increasing the products available to them.

Alongside this proposed legislation, we also call on the Government of Canada to publish the modernized Feed Regulations by the end of 2023. We look forward to the completion of this important 13-year project. With the completion of the Feed Regulations, we can then continue to enhance Canada’s approach to expediting foreign approval recognition for feed registrations by way of this proposed legislation.

CFA’s recently released Farm Financial Health Report outlines the tremendous challenges farmers are facing relating to the increased costs of production, and how the sector needs to take hold of every opportunity to improve its competitiveness. It includes a suite of recommendations on how to move our sector forward sustainably, one of which is regulatory modernization. MP Blois’ Bill is an urgently needed, no-cost measure that will help reduce regulatory burden without sacrificing transparency or food safety.

“The world is moving quickly, and it’s imperative that farmers can move at the same pace. New feed, seed and pest control products can help our sector harness its potential in the fight against climate change, promote food security and give us the tools we need to combat new pests that emerge as the climate changes,” added Keith Currie.