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Canada Proposes Maximum Residue Limits for Picarbutrazox in Food

July 22 2021

Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) has notified the WTO of proposed MRLs for picarbutrazox in food. The MRLs were adopted on June 3, 2021.

Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) has notified the WTO of proposed MRLs for picarbutrazox in food. The MRLs were adopted on June 3, 2021.

Under the authority of the Pest Control Products Act, Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) has received applications to register picarbutrazox for use in Canada on soybeans and corn. The evaluation of these applications for picarbutrazox indicated human health and environmental risks. Details regarding these applications can be found in Proposed Registration Decision (PRD2021-02).
Before registering a pesticide for food use in Canada, the PMRA must determine the quantity of residues that are likely to remain in or on the food when the pesticide is used according to label directions, and that such residues will not be a concern to human health.
To comply with Canada’s international trade obligations, the PMRA notified the World Trade Organization (WTO) of proposed maximum residue limits (MRL) for picarbutrazox in food on June 3, 2021,(1) as coordinated by the Canada’s Notification Authority and Enquiry Point. The PMRA invited the public to submit written comments on the proposed MRLs for up to 75 days from the date of publication. To avoid the issue of trade barriers, Health Canada’s PMRA has set its own MRLs for picarbutrazox in food at Table 1.
Pesticides are chemical substances intended to prevent, destroy, or control weeds, molds and pests. Picarbutrazox is a novel fungicide developed for use on cereal to control Pythium and Phytophthora. However, pesticide residues can cause several human health problems, such as cancer, neurological disorders and impairment of the immune system. Therefore, the concentration of pesticide residues in food products must be monitored in order to ensure they are below the MRL.
For pesticide analysis in various food commodities, the Quick, Easy, Cheap, Effective, Rugged, and Safe (QuEChERS) is an extraction and clean-up technique. The international methods widely used for pesticides analysis are BS EN and AOAC. They are extracted by acetonitrile and analyzed by either liquid or gas chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS or GC-MS/MS) depending upon its chemical properties.

Table 1
Proposed Maximum Residue Limits for Picarbutrazox

Common name Food Commodities MRLs (PPM*)

(CAS # 500207-04-5)

Dry soybeans, eggs; fat, meat and meat by products of cattle, goats, hogs, horses,
poultry and sheep; field corn, milk, popcorn grain, sweet corn kernels plus cob with husks removed


*PPM= parts per million

What do these changes mean?

This update has the potential to affect agricultural producers, food manufacturers, and pesticide manufacturers. Food products destined for Canada, if listed in Table 1, must not have residues of picarbutrazox exceeding the MRLs. Complying with food safety regulations can be a complex, time-consuming and expensive process. Food producers should seek professional advice.
SGS is committed to keeping you informed of regulation news and developments. Leveraging our global network of laboratories and food experts, we provide a comprehensive range of food safety and quality solutions, including analytical tests, audits, certifications, inspections, and technical support. We continually invest in our testing, capability, and state-of-the art technology to help you reduce risk, improve food safety and quality. For more information, please visit our website:

For enquiries, please contact:

Tanakorn Puntupong
R&D Chemist-Food Technical Support Center
Phone: +66 2683 0541 ext 2310, 2314

Tags: maximum residue limits (mrls), Picarbutrazox


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