Through the leadership of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Canada's Pesticide Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) and the plant science industry, pesticides will potentially be more affordable and readily available.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD) vision for international regulation of crop protection products improves regulatory harmonization and advances work-sharing of pesticide reviews across OECD governments.
Canada, for instance, has been able to provide certain pesticides for substantially less than the United States. Ray McAllister, regulatory science and policy leader for CropLife America, explains that as the harmonization of regulatory systems and regulatory timelines occurs, there's "less rationale of different prices" for identical pesticides in different countries.
OECD's document, "A Global Approach to the Regulation of Agricultural Pesticides -- A Vision for the Future" explains that work-sharing activities will help reduce the time that authorities spend evaluating, providing greater consistency, transparency and predictability in regulatory decision-making.
It is hoped that farmers will benefit by gaining earlier access to new and safe crop protection products and industry will benefit from lower trade barriers and costs associated with the regulatory process.
EPA Proposes Draft Rule to Review Pesticide Registrations
In other pesticide news, on Wednesday the EPA sent a draft proposed rule to USDA that would require pesticide registrations to be reevaluated every 15 years. Because safety standards change over time, it is necessary to assure that pesticides continue to meet these standards as new knowledge and information are developed
McAllister explains that it "gives an opportunity to make sure the science supporting each active ingredient is current."
Because the rule is only a draft proposed rule, it is sent to the USDA for a 30-day review as well as the Office of Management and Budget, which has 90 days to review the rule. The rule will then be published and public comments collected.
Vivian Prunier, field and external affairs division in EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs, says the agency is "optimistic" to release a final rule 12 months after the publication in the Federal Registrar. Once approved the EPA would schedule chemicals for their review process, beginning with the oldest chemicals that currently are at the 15 year mark.