Madam Speaker, I am delighted to speak on this matter. I know the member will be delighted to hear me repeat some positions.
The member for Lambton-Middlesex has a concern regarding the PMRA. As I stated in my response to her on February 21, the Minister of Health has been reviewing the various proposals of groups interested in the matter.
The member will no doubt be happy to learn that on February 27, a mere six days after my response to her query, the Minister of Health wrote to the president of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture. In that letter he addressed a number of issues. I will be happy to table a copy of the letter for the member and for the House.
The member will see from the letter that the PMRA will be co-operating with the Canadian Federation of Agriculture on a post-implementation impact analysis. This would monitor prices and product withdrawals and assess the impact of the two factors on competitiveness.
The PMRA has actively participated in the pesticide program of the OECD which is working toward global harmonization of test protocols and data requirements leading to reduction in industry costs.
The minister also indicated in his letter that the PMRA has no intention of re-evaluating all the products every three to five years, nor of re-evaluating products that have acceptable data bases to support their safety and effectiveness. The purpose of re-evaluation is to bring older databases up to modern standards, identify and examine human safety and environmental concerns, and ensure continued efficacy. I am certain the member will and does support these goals.
It is also important to note that the PMRA has made significant improvements to the review process for new submissions. Based on these improvements the PMRA has projected a 40 per cent reduction in costs for reviewing new product submissions over the next six years and has already built this into its proposed fee schedule.
There are other issues addressed in the letter. The member for Lambton-Middlesex has been aggressive, insistent and persistent on the matter. Others who like her have an interest in the issue should review the correspondence. I think they will find it to their satisfaction.