Seed World

Bill S-6 Proposes Giving CSGA More Authority for Seed Certification

In no particular order, we present the Top 10 Stories of 2022. Here’s the seventh.

Modernization might be coming to the Seeds Act from an unexpected source. On March 31, the Senate tabled Bill S-6, which proposes to modify 29 acts through 46 amendments and applying to 12 departments and agencies, including the Seeds Act.

The bill is meant to simplify federal regulations by making many “common sense” legislative tweaks at once, according to government.

One of the proposed amendments to the Seeds Act gives the Canadian Seed Growers’ Association (CSGA) the authority to determine the varietal purity of all seed crops and not just those with grades requiring varietal purity.

“CSGA views this amendment as housekeeping in nature as it reflects the current operational nature of Canada’s seed crop certification system. The additional clarity around CSGA’s authority is important as it ensures that new niche and specialty crop clients have a pathway to seed certification in Canada and enables international trade,” said CSGA Executive Director Doug Miller during the Senate committee hearing on the bill.

The bill notes that this amendment would address legal risk by making it clear in the legislation that the CSGA is allowed to make these determinations of varietal purity for all seed crops.

Barry Senft, executive director for Seeds Canada, also addressed the Senate committee hearing and said Seeds Canada’s position is for the Seeds Act amendments to be removed from the bill, going on to say the Seed Regulatory Modernization initiative is the proper forum to make such tweaks.

As of press time, Bill S-6 was still under review and hadn’t yet been passed by the Senate.