Ongoing changes at the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA)

Resolution 3-21, Resolution 4-21, Resolution 1-19,

“The Health Canada Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) is responsible for pesticide regulation in Canada. Created in 1995, this branch of Health Canada consolidates the resources and responsibilities for pest management regulation.”…/PMRA

PMRA operates under the Pest Control Products Act, Health Canada to register and reevaluate pesticides, and promote sustainable pest management strategies. It is the PMRA that determines if there is a reason for an emergency order for Strychnine, processes the applications for minor use registrations for herbicides, and governs the tank mixes farmers can use. Canada’s system of regulation is considered conservative and science based.

This month “Health Canada announced that it has  launched its new Science Advisory Committee on Pest Control Products.

The Committee will provide scientific advice, as appropriate, on certain evidence-based decisions of the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) on pesticides. It is comprised of science experts covering a broad range of expertise in both human health and environmental science, as well as value assessment. The Committee is representative of Canada, and has been expertly vetted to have low to no conflict of interest. The Committee will be supported by a Community of Specialized Experts that will be called upon when specialized expertise is required.

Please visit Health Canada’s website to learn more about the Science Advisory Committee on Pest Control Products and its membership. 

For any questions, please contact the Committee secretariat at ”

There are three members from the west included on the new committee:

Dr. Christy A. Morrissey, PhD
Professor, with tenure,
University of Saskatchewan,
Department of Biology
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Christy Morrissey obtained a PhD in Avian population ecology and Wildlife ecotoxicology from Simon Fraser University in 2003. Since 2010, she has been a Professor (with tenure) in Biology with Associate appointments in the School of Environment and Sustainability, and Toxicology, at the University of Saskatchewan. Dr. Morrissey has been studying the ecotoxicological effects of current and legacy pesticides for over 20 years and has participated in research on Monosodium Methanearsonate (MSMA) used to control Mountain Pine Beetle in BC forests and more recently, the fate, distribution and effects of pesticides in aquatic ecosystems and avian wildlife in Canada. Additionally, Dr. Morrissey has also been recognized by the Royal Society of Canada as a member of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists.

Dr. Maricor Arlos, PhD, MASc,
Assistant Professor,
Civil and Environmental Engineering,
University of Alberta,
Edmonton, Alberta

Maricor Arlos obtained a Ph.D. Biology from the Collaborative Water Program, University of Waterloo in 2018 and an MASc in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Waterloo in 2013. Dr. Arlos has been in the position of Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Alberta, since 2020.

Between 2018 and 2020, Dr. Arlos completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag). Dr. Arlos’ work focused on the implications of pesticide dynamics and changing concentrations in receiving streams by quantifying exposure from the source and linking pesticide behaviour to effects using the toxicokinetics-toxicodynamics approach.

Dr. Sean Prager, PhD, BA,
Associate Member, Department of Biology and,
Assistant Professor, Department of Plant Sciences,
University of Saskatchewan,
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Sean Prager received a PhD in Biological Sciences, Ecology and Evolution from Brock University in 2008 and a BA with a major in Biology (Ecology & Evolution) from Clark University, Worcester, MA in 2000. Since 2017 Dr. Prager has been Assistant Professor, Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Saskatchewan and Associate Member, Department of Biology, University of Saskatchewan since 2020. As the sole entomologist in the College of Agriculture and Bioresources at the University of Saskatchewan and one of several university entomologists in the prairies, Dr. Prager conducts applied research on insect management. This includes development of economic thresholds for insecticide application, testing of new and alternative insect control materials, and studies of ecological impacts of insect control. He has also performed studies that examined insecticide levels in plants and soil.

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