Questions and answers: Tolerances for micronutrient fertilizers

What are micronutrients?

Micronutrients are essential plant nutrients that are required in small amounts for normal growth and development of plants. Examples of micronutrients include boron, chlorine, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum and zinc.

What scientific evidence are the tolerances based on?

The tolerances are aligned with the CFIA's safety mandate and international norms and standards. They are based on product analysis and modern manufacturing practices.

What does the CFIA require?

To ensure marketplace monitoring, sampling and analysis, the CFIA requires results of analysis for all guaranteed micronutrients, and results of analysis for the reportable metals at the time of registration and re-registration to ensure that the product does not exceed the allowable limits. The reportable metals are: arsenic, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, copper, mercury, molybdenum, nickel, lead, selenium, and zinc.

When will these new tolerances come into effect?

The CFIA will phase in implementation of the updated tolerances over a period of two years, between April 2018 and 2020, to allow for time to exhaust the product currently in the supply chain.

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