Not all countries set import Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) at the same time or at all. This may pose a trade risk. That’s why it’s wise to take steps to address concerns in key export markets.

The Issue

Canada’s science-based system for pesticide regulation is the envy of the world, but registration here does not guarantee acceptance by our export customers. When a country does not have an established MRL (or has a default MRL close to zero), it may reject imports if low residue levels are found. This problem also applies to domestic processors using Canadian grain if their product is exported.

Most of our production is exported, either directly or as processed products. By following a consultative and objective approach that assesses the risk to trade, we can avoid problems marketing our crops while preserving Canada’s reputation for reliable quality.

What Can Farmers Do?

  • When possible, develop a crop protection management plan before the seed is planted.
  • Talk to your agri-retailer before using crop protection products for the first time. Ensure that imports treated with these products are acceptable in markets for your grain.
  • Talk to your grain buyers to ensure they know what crop protection products you intend to use, and to confirm that none of these products will cause concern for export or domestic customers.
  • Don’t use products if they are not approved for use by potential customers.
  • Always follow the label. Labels on crop protection products have been developed through Canada’s science-based regulatory process. The labels ensure safe use of crop protection products and help ensure that residues are not a marketing concern.

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