Seed regulatory modernization
The scope of seed regulatory modernization (SEED-RM) will focus on seeds other than seed potato, seed potatoes, variety registration and registered establishments that prepare seed and licensing of operators of the Seeds Regulations. Refer to section 2.1 on this page for information on different initiatives outside the scope of SEED-RM.
On this page
- Why we have the Seeds Act and Seeds Regulations
- Purpose of seed regulatory modernization
- 2.1 Other seed initiatives
- 2.2 Potato and seed requirements
- Seed regulatory modernization working group
- Consultation activities
- 4.1 Needs assessment survey
- Additional resources
1. Why we have the Seeds Act and Seeds Regulations
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is responsible for administering and enforcing the Seeds Act and Seeds Regulations. The main purpose of the Seeds Act and Seeds Regulations is to protect producers and consumers from misrepresentation, prevent the use of low quality seed and to create a level playing field for companies and individuals involved in seed production.
2. Purpose of seed regulatory modernization
The Seeds Act and Seeds Regulations have undergone periodic amendments and modernizations since the first laws were established in 1905. The CFIA is committed to a full-scale review of Part I – Seeds other than Seed Potatoes, Part II-Seed Potatoes, Part III – Variety Registration and Part IV-Registration of Establishments that Prepare Seed and Licensing of Operators of the Seeds Regulations. During this initiative the CFIA is looking to update the Seeds Regulations to:
- improve responsiveness and consistency
- reduce complexity
- become adaptable and flexible to address future technical advances and scientific innovation
- protect producers and consumers by strengthen existing requirements
See CFIA's Forward Regulatory Plan for anticipated timelines for publication in Canada Gazette.
2.1 Other seed initiatives
These initiatives are outside of the scope of the SEED-RM full-scale review of Parts I, II, III and IV in the Seeds Regulations.
- Value creation: the CFIA in cooperation with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, conducted joint consultations with the grains sector on royalty collection models, enabled by Plant Breeders' Rights, to stimulate greater investment and competitiveness in cereal breeding.
- Plant breeding innovation: the CFIA and Health Canada are actively working on projects to provide additional clarity on the regulatory approach to plant breeding innovations. Early discussions with industry stakeholders and other government departments have been held through a working group under the Biotechnology Working Group (BWG) of the Grains Round Table. Public engagement activities will be conducted prior to any new policy implementation.
- Seed Synergy and Seeds Canada: seed synergy is an industry initiative that brings together 5 existing national not-for-profit organizations to explore options for achieving greater synergy in the Canadian seed sector. Seeds Canada is the national seed organization created as a result of the amalgamation of 4 of the Seed Synergy members.
2.2 Potato and seed requirements
The requirements for seed and seed potatoes that are established under the Plant Protection Act and Plant Protection Regulations are outside the scope of SEED-RM. Examples of these include: phytosanitary requirements for the export, import and domestic movement of seeds and seed potatoes to prevent the introduction and spread of regulated pests, etc.
Ministerial exemptions for potatoes (excluding seeds) are covered by the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations under the Safe Food for Canadians Act and are outside the scope of SEED-RM.
3. Seed regulatory modernization working group
The purpose of the SEED-RM Working Group (WG) under the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's (AAFC's) Value Chain Roundtables is to provide a collaborative approach where government and impacted seed/seed potato stakeholders collaborate in the co-development of proposed options to provide recommendations to the CFIA for amending the Seeds Regulations.
Working group members:
- producer groups
- seed industry
- seed potato industry
- public breeders
- commodity/value chain associations
- other/special interest groups
4. Consultation activities
The CFIA is planning consultation activities to engage stakeholders throughout the seed regulatory modernization process. The information collected will provide insight for CFIA while updating the Seeds Regulations.
The CFIA encourages all stakeholders to participated in these consultation activities to provide feedback during SEED-RM.
4.1 Needs assessment survey
The needs assessment survey was the first consultation early in the SEED-RM process for both seed and seed potato. The information collected will be used to establish a baseline understanding of stakeholder needs. This survey provided insight from stakeholders on the following:
- what are the benefits of the current seed and seed potato regulatory framework and systems
- are there opportunities for change and what issues need to be addressed
- what is the comfort with further industry delivery of regulatory services
A "what we heard report" on the needs assessment survey is available on the CFIA completed consultations page.
Further information on Canada's current seed regulatory framework is available and based on 3 separate reports prepared by Synthesis Agri-Food Network developed under AAFC's Value Chain Roundtables to support the SEED-RM WG process:
- Seed Regulatory Modernization: Executive summary – available upon request
- Canada's Seed Regulatory Framework: A primer for Seed Regulatory Modernization – available upon request
- Looking Ahead: Trends and forces impacting the future of the seed industry – available upon request
5. Additional resources
Agri-food and Aquaculture Regulatory Review Roadmap
Incorporation by reference
- Refer to the Seeds index of the plant guidance document repository
- CFIA Seeds
- CFIA Variety Registration
- How is Certified Seed Produced? this will redirect you to the Canadian Seed Growers' Association (CSGA)
- What is Canadian Certified Seed? this will redirect you to the Canadian Seed Growers' Association (CSGA)
- CFIA Potato website
- CFIA Variety Registration
- United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Standard for Seed Potatoes
If you have any questions or concerns, regarding seeds or seed potatoes email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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