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United States-Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council Initiatives on Pesticides:  Aligning Approvals and Tolerances/Maximum Residue Levels

Mission of the RCC

Recognizing the critical importance of our $1 trillion annual bilateral trade and investment relationship, the United States and Canada established the RCC with a 2-year mandate to promote economic growth, job creation and other benefits to consumers and businesses.

On February 4, 2011, President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the creation of the United States-Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) to increase regulatory transparency and coordination between the two countries.  One of the initial areas of focus of the RCC is agricultural production, in particular further alignment of crop protection product approvals and establishment of tolerances and maximum residue limits (MRLs) for major and minor uses of pesticides in both countries.

As pesticide activities under the RCC Action Plan are developed and implemented through the NAFTA Technical Working Group on Pesticides, both the U.S. EPA Office of Pesticide Programs and the Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Agency will continue to incorporate public feedback received through our websites, public meetings and other public engagements.

Under the NAFTA Technical Working Group on Pesticides, EPA and the Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Agency have a longstanding history of exceptional regulatory cooperation in the area of pesticide regulation, and our respective regulatory requirements and approval processes for crop protection products are already highly aligned. However, further convergence could promote greater work-sharing and information-sharing between Canadian and U.S. regulators.  This would facilitate more simultaneous access for producers to the most effective production tools and technologies while maintaining our high standards for protection of human health and the environment.  It would also help to align MRLs and tolerances of pesticides, facilitating trade of a wider variety of agricultural commodities and providing consumers in both countries with more choice and predictability at the grocery store.

In consultation with key partners, such as the U.S. IR-4 Project and the Canadian Pest Management Center, EPA and the Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Agency will continue to build on the solid foundation of the work accomplished over the last 20 years under the NAFTA Technical Working Group on Pesticides.  We look forward to a renewed level of regulatory cooperation that will further advance the objectives of the RCC in the area of agricultural production.

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