Blois introduces bill aimed at speeding up approvals of new agriculture products

Kody Blois (right) during a visit to Saskatchewan in 2022.

The chair of the House of Commons’ agriculture committee has introduced a private member’s bill aimed at speeding up regulatory approvals of new seed genetics, feed products, and crop protection products for Canadian farmers.

Kody Blois, Liberal MP from Nova Scotia, tabled Bill C-359 — An Act to amend the Feeds Act, the Seeds Act and the Pest Control Products Act — on Wednesday.

“If members talk to farmers across the country, farmers will talk about the important tools, whether they be new seeds, new feeds or crop protection products, and how we could find ways to leverage the science and trusted jurisdictions elsewhere as part of the regulatory process,” Blois told MPs in the House.

The legislation proposes a 90-day provisional registration for new products where the company introducing a product can show its been approved by regulators in two or more other “trusted” countries or jurisdictions. (more below)

Kody Blois joined RealAg Radio on Friday to discuss his new private member’s bill and why he believes the government should make it a priority:

The provisional registration would “ensure farmers have access to these tools in a more timely manner, without compromising public safety, or the scientific process that we expect our Canadian regulators to undertake,” noted Blois.

The Canadian Federation of Agriculture, Grain Growers of Canada, Canola Council of Canada, Canadian Canola Growers Association, Canada Grains Council, Canadian Cattle Association, and National Cattle Feeders’ Association have already voiced support for the bill.

“Innovative pesticides, herbicides and seeds are essential for our grain producers,” stated Kyle Larkin, Grain Growers executive director. “This legislation ensures they can continue to adopt sustainable practices, increase yields and support Canada’s ambitious climate change objectives.”

“We’re pleased to see the innovative principles of Bill C-359 as it aims to reduce regulatory burdens for farmers and ranchers and ensure our global competitiveness,” said CCA president Nathan Phinney. “Additional common sense regulatory changes will help Canadian beef producers sustainably produce more high-quality protein.”

While C-359 is a private member’s bill, Blois says he’ll also be calling on the government to include the legislative changes in the 2024 budget.

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