PMRA issues notice stating pesticides used for vertical farming must be registered appropriately

September 07, 2022

The Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) issued an Information Note advising that use of pesticides in vertical farming are not permitted unless the pesticide has been registered for use in vertical farming.

On August 23, 2022, the PMRA issued an Information Note titled “Vertical farming and pest control products” advising that use of pest control products in vertical farming are not permitted under the Pest Control Products Act unless the product has been registered or amended to include vertical farming on the product label.

The PMRA further explains that vertical farming is different from greenhouse growing. In greenhouse growing, plants are generally grown in a single layer along horizontal benches, containers or troughs placed on the ground and rely largely on natural sunlight. In contrast, vertical farming is conducted through a specific mode (hydroponically, aeroponically or in soil), indoors on vertically stacked or inclined layers and/or integrated in other vertical structures, and solely or largely dependent on artificial lighting.

As such, there are different hazards and risks associated with vertical farming. Occupational exposure, dietary risks, and environmental fate all need to be assessed for vertical farming applications.  

At this time, PMRA has not received any applications with data to support the registration and use of pest control products in vertical farming.

How can TSG help?

Looking to have your pesticide product approved for use in vertical farming? Whether you want to submit a new registration, amend an existing registration or make use, as applicable, of the User Requested Minor Use Label Expansion program (URMULE), Joe McCarthy, TSG’s Canadian expert is happy to help determine what steps need to be taken. Get in touch: info@tsgconsulting.com

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