Weed Seeds Order Review - Proposal for Change
4.0 Structure of the WSO

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The current WSO contains six different classes of weed seeds:

Class 1: Prohibited Noxious

  • Applies to all tables of Schedule I to the Seeds Regulations.
  • Section 7(1)(a) of the Seeds Regulations states "seed shall not contain prohibited noxious weed seeds".

Class 2: Primary Noxious

Class 3: Secondary Noxious

  • Applies to all tables except Tables XIV and XV

Class 4: Secondary Noxious

Class 5: Noxious

  • Applies to Tables XIV and XV

Class 6: Other weed seeds

  • Seeds of all other species not listed as crop kinds in Schedule I to the Seeds Regulations

The CFIA has presented stakeholders with different options for the structure of the WSO at consultations held to date. The four options proposed were:

  1. Status quo
  2. Merging the current classes 4 and 5 to make a WSO with only 5 different classes,
  3. Reducing the WSO to only 3 classes by removing all Secondary Noxious and Noxious classes of weed species, or
  4. Another option proposed through consultation that would better meet the needs of the stakeholders.

There was some level of support for all options proposed, although one option was not clearly favoured. Some felt that status quo would be best because there has been many years experience with this structure and format. Others felt that the second option was best because it simplifies the system and would require less training for those already in the industry. Other stakeholders felt that the third option was best because it was easy to understand and would bring Canada closer in line to the US system.

Throughout the consultations, the CFIA heard that there may still be a need for crop specific weed listings (such as the current Classes 4 and 5 regarding Tables XII, XIV and XV) as well as a need to ensure that the WSO is clearly communicated and up-to-date. Any change to the structure of the WSO requires consultation and may also require changes to the Seeds Regulations.

Schedule I of the Seeds Regulations, commonly rferred to as the Grade Tables, rferences the terms Primary Noxious, Secondary Noxious and Noxious rather than the Class numeral. If any of these terms cease to be used, a Regulatory amendment to the Grade Tables may be required.

It is important to note that Primary Noxious applies to all Tables of Schedule I except for Table XIV (Lawn or turf mixtures of two or more kinds of seeds) and Table XV (Ground cover mixtures composed of seed of two or more kinds other than cereal mixtures, forage mixtures, and lawn or turf mixtures). As species are removed from Prohibited Noxious (applies to all seed and all Grade Tables) and reclassified as Primary Noxious, they are no longer regulated in the Table XIV and Table XV crop types. A regulatory amendment may be required to make this change if stakeholders feel this is the correct direction to follow.

The CFIA seeks feedback from stakeholders on the current 6 class structure of the Weed Seeds Order.

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