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OMRI Label Claims on Canadian Pest Control (February 2011)

Health Canada’s Pesticide Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) is communicating its new policy on the placement of the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) seal on labels of pest control products registered in Canada.

Health Canada’s Pesticide Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) sent a memo to applicants, registrants and their regulatory representatives regarding its new policy on the placement of the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) seal on labels of pest control products registered in Canada.

The Regulatory Directive, DIR96-02: Environment Label Claims and Advertising of Pest Control Products describes the requirements for using environmental claims, including statements such as Organic or Natural on label of registered pest control products in Canada. The Directive states that use of the word “Organic” would not be allowed, until there was a regulatory basis for certifying foods was established by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC). However, in the absence of a clear policy, PMRA permitted registrants to use the OMRI listed seal on products to indicate that they were certified organic foods. OMRI is a private organization in the U.S. that refers to and interprets the National Organic Program (NOP) rule, an American standard, to review organic products.

AAFC has now developed Organic Products Regulations (OPR) which form the basis of a federally regulated system for organic agriculture in Canada. Under these new regulations, organic certification is only for food and feed products or for the cultivation of plants. OPR does not provide for the certification of agricultural inputs, so Canadian pest control product registrations cannot place such a certification on their labels.

PMRA has determined that inclusion of the OMRI listed seal on labels of Canadian registered pest control products is no longer acceptable. The PMRA will remove the OMRI listed seal from the text based labels of all affected products. The revised text labels will be sent to the applicable registrants and posted on the PMRA website. Registrants will be 18 months to amend their product labels.

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