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What type of research has been conducted on the use of herbicides in the forest and who has done it?

Category: Vegetation Management

Extensive research has been conducted by academics, industry, and government researchers on all aspects of herbicide use in our forests. To be considered safe for use, this research is reviewed regularly by Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), under the authority of the Pest Control Products Act.

Pesticides, including herbicides, must be thoroughly tested to ensure that they perform according to label instructions and are safe to humans and the environment when used as directed. This testing may be performed by a variety of agencies and must have sufficient scientific rigor to satisfy Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) (http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ahc-asc/branch-dirgen/pmra-arla/index-eng.php). To prevent data manipulation, the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has developed an internationally accepted set of Test Guidelines and Principles of Good Laboratory Practices (GLP) to promote the quality and validity of test data. GLP covers the organizational process and conditions under which non-clinical studies are planned, performed, monitored, recorded and reported. Independent trail audits can be conducted under the GLP guidelines at any time to verify integrity of data used in the registration process.

Under the authority of the Pest Control Products Act (http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/p-9.01/), Health Canada only registers those compounds that promote sustainable pest management and satisfy stringent, science-based evaluations indicating that they pose minimal risk to human health and the environment. All registered pesticides undergo a scheduled re-evaluation every 15 years to ensure that the data supporting their continued use meets current scientific standards. The PMRA carefully reviews all data (including raw data) and may also compare its conclusions with regulatory counterparts in other countries such as the U.S. and members of the European Union to ensure consistency.

Canada has one of the most stringent pesticide regulatory and registration systems in the world.

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.