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Quick Fact
It can take approximately 11 years
of research – and between $310 and $350 million – to develop, test, and bring a new crop protection product to market.61 According to the PMRA’s website, the process can involve the review of over 200 different types
of studies in three key areas: health, environment, and value.
What’s being done to ensure that our food is safe?
Canadian farmers can only purchase pesticides that have been assessed for safety, and approved for use by Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA). Canada has some
of the strictest pesticide approval and monitoring systems in the world. The Pest Management Regulatory Agency is responsible for ensuring that all pesticides, when used properly, are safe for people and for the environment.
Before being approved for use in food production, new crop protection products go through years of testing and trials to prove that they’re safe and effective. When used as directed, pesticides approved in Canada do not harm people. This feature is critically important for everyone, and particularly for the farmers using those products to protect their crops.
The PMRA, which regulates pesticides and enforces rules, employs hundreds of independent scientists to review safety data and assess the risk of all pest control products to ensure that they can be used safely, before they are approved for use
in Canada (see Health Canada for more information).62
A similar process is in place for animal health products, which are regulated by Health Canada:
• Pharmaceuticals for animals are regulated by the Veterinary Drugs Directorate, which is an agency of Health Canada.
• Animal pesticides (e.g. ear
tags, sprays, and powders) used to manage pests (e.g.  ies,  eas, and ticks) are under the jurisdiction of the PMRA.
• Animal vaccines and feed additives must meet the regulatory requirements of the Canadian Centre for Veterinary Biologics and the Feeds Division, respectively. Both are part of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
Research and development focused on developing better products is ongoing. New crop protection products coming
to the market are regulated by Health Canada, and take into account the latest scienti c advances. Once a new pest control product is approved, its use is monitored through government testing for residues, to make sure that our food and water are safe.
Pro le
Prof. Suresh Neethirajan
Suresh Neethirajan, a University of Guelph bioengineering researcher and associate professor, uses nanotechnology to solve real- world problems in food safety, agriculture and animal health. Currently, he is involved with an initiative investigating how soy can help reduce the risk of food-borne illnesses. Using pathogen-  ghting properties within soy  our, Suresh and his team have been able to create a natural food preservative that stops the growth of harmful bacteria – but leaves good bacteria alone.
“I have always been interested in agriculture and biology. Food is a main reason for our existence on this planet, and technology can help us protect it”. (Suresh Neethirajan)
The Real Dirt on Farming 35
Prof. Suresh Neethirajan

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