Seed World

Seeds Canada Reaffirms its Position on Regulatory Modernization


In a news release sent out yesterday, Seeds Canada has reaffirmed its positions on Seed Regulatory Modernization (SRM), specifically the idea for an independent advisory committee to help guide policy decision concerning seed.

Seeds Canada welcomes venues that provide the opportunity to ask hard questions and thoughtfully and professionally respond to questions and opinions about this critical and serious issue. We remain committed to ensuring that the sector’s needs and the diversity of its operations are accurately represented.

Seeds Canada approached SRM with an eye on the cost of regulation and ensuring that regulation allows for the existence of diverse operations. In the spirit of embracing the diversity of Canadian cropping systems, Seeds Canada initially proposed the concept of an ISSB – an independent standards-setting body. After consulting with members and stakeholders, this concept has evolved to become an independent, inclusive, and broader-scope industry advisory body.

Seeds Canada envisions an advisory body that would address all aspects of seed regulation and policy, from seed developers to end users, including farmers. This group would be a source of industry-specific feedback to the CFIA on regulations and policies in place. They would provide feedback on regulatory services contracted out to alternative service providers and recommend changes to standards set under the Seed Regulations, including standards for seed crop certification, which the CSGA has the authority to set under a century-old agreement.

Seeds Canada has received support from members and stakeholders for the concept of an independent advisory body, as well as interest from policymakers. We have engaged Dr. Erin Armstrong, an independent consultant with knowledge of the entire value chain, to develop the concept further, including research into similar bodies in other regulatory areas and their success.

Seeds Canada held an initial member engagement session on March 4, during which members were invited to discuss the survey and provide comments. Following the engagement session, additional one-on-one outreach was conducted with members. Based on this initial member feedback, we have developed some draft recommended responses to facilitate further consultation. We are holding a second virtual member engagement session on March 28. We will use the feedback to inform our final recommendations, which will be made public and used to inform Seeds Canada’s organizational submission.

Seeds Canada is looking forward to sharing our responses to CFIA’s second winter survey in April.