Recommendation Could Save Farmers Millions

The Farmers of North America Strategic Agriculture Institute (FNA-STAG) applauds the House of
Commons Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food for their third report on the “Competitiveness
of Canadian Agriculture” released May 6, 2010. Of particular note is a recommendation concerning the
regulatory framework with respect to generic pesticides.
Recommendation 4.4 calls for the immediate marketing of generic products as soon as the scientific
review has been completed. This change would mean generic products would be available to farmers
sooner. “We want farmers to be able to save money on a generic product as soon as possible”,
comments Bob Friesen, FNA-STAG CEO. He continues by saying, “This recommendation would be a
significant improvement from the current proposal that negotiation of compensable data happens first,
which takes too long. This means that a lower cost generic could miss a full growing season.” This is in
contrast with the U.S. where marketing begins immediately following the scientific review.
It is important also to point out that taking out the delays in the process would have no danger to
environment or health because the scientific review process that considers these factors would already be
complete.
Farmers of North America provided testimony to the Standing Committee in June, 2009 that focused on
the opportunities for changes to generic registration practices and what it would mean for farmers. Based
on the recommendation that appears in the Standing Committee’s report, it was time well spent. “Current
regulation provides a period of exclusive marketing for the original registrant and that’s fine – that
encourages investment in innovation. What’s not fine is when the generic registration process is draggedout with delay tactics while farmers could be saving money with a lower cost product.”
If implemented, this recommendation would make Canada more competitive with the U.S. regulatory
system, something FNA has been calling for. Canadian farmers constantly compete with U.S. farmers in a
global commodity market who have enjoyed lower input costs, in part due to their regulatory system.
“Let’s at least give Canadian farmers the opportunity to level the playing field a bit with respect to cost of
inputs,” says Friesen. “This would be a huge victory for Canadian farmers. This is really important for the
cause of farm profitability.”
FNA-STAG requests the Federal Government to adopt this recommendation as soon as possible and
include it in the current Protection for Proprietary Interests in Data Protection (PPIP) draft regulation.
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Farmers of North America Strategic Agriculture Institute (FNA-STAG) is a not-for-profit organization with
the single mission of “Improving Farm Profitability.”
For more information contact:
Bob Friesen, CEO: (613) 230-2222 / (613) 852-9711