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Who is responsible to make sure herbicide is sprayed according to the laws and regulations? How often do they check?

Category: Herbicide Operations

The Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) is the branch of Health Canada responsible for regulating herbicide use. Each province also has an environmental agency that oversees the herbicide application process, ensuring all regulations are upheld.

The Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) which is part of Health Canada, is responsible for setting the laws and regulations around glyphosate use in Canada. The PMRA periodically reviews the available research on glyphosate use to ensure that the accepted level of exposure to Canadians does not cause any harmful effects. If new research indicates changes in product safety, PMRA revises label requirements as needed. PMRA has recently done a review on glyphosate (April 2015) and concluded that it is safe to use in forestry, agriculture, industrial and residential applications under the current regulations and policies.

For example, in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, all herbicide contractors must apply with the appropriate Department of Environment for pesticide application permits. The Provincial Permits provide additional measures of safety above the label requirements. Requirements for individual applicator certification, buffer zones and public notification are examples of some additional measures that are addressed through conditions on the herbicide treatment Permits.

The NB Department of Environment and Local Government (NBDELG) and the NS Environment and Labour (NSEL) require mandatory reporting, and frequently inspects operations. They also follow up on any complaints or concerns related to herbicide operations.

In April 2015, the PMRA released their latest review of glyphosate and declared that the weight of evidence indicates that glyphosate does not present unacceptable risk to human health. The full PMRA glyphosate review can be found here or please visit here for a summary version of the full PMRA review.