[nafex] neem oil sources for Canada ?

david.maxwell at dal.ca david.maxwell at dal.ca
Mon Jan 14 15:09:14 EST 2013

Yes, I thought I had posted the reason, but obviously I didn't.  It is dead simple. The PMRA 
functions on what might charitably be called the precautionary principle - everything is 
presumed to be toxic and harmful until proven safe.  And to prove it safe you have to submit 
a huge dossier of evidence, including, for example levels of residues on mature fruit (at the 
micro-mol level) which must be performed in specialised accredited labs.  All this is 
enormously expensive, and no manufacturer will go through it unless he perceives a market 
sufficient to recoup the cost of getting certification.  Neem isn't big enough.  Surround, which 
is as benign as one could possibly get, (just kaolin clay), is certified in Canada only for 
commercial production use, (not household domestic), because the manufacturer perceived 
this as his market and did not bother to invest in seeking domestic certification.  So one 
cannot buy it in Canada unless one has a full-blown Pesticide Applicator Certificate, (slog 
through a 300 page manual, and write a multiple choice exam.)  But none of this is unique to 
Canada - every jurisdiction functions in exactly the same manner, including yourselves in the 

> Anyone know why it's not permitted for agricultural use in Canada?
> -- Rivka; Finger Lakes NY, Zone 6A now I think
> Fresh-market organic produce, small scale
> On Jan 13, 2013, at 1:40 PM, david.maxwell at dal.ca wrote:
> > Not so easy.  Richters, (and other garden supply places) sell neem 
> > as a leaf shine, in small bottles.  Peter needs several liters for
> > his purposes.  But one can  order it from the States, and it comes
> > in with no problem as long as it is not listed as for  agricultural
> > use. (If it is being used for anything else - as a shampoo, herbal
> > tonic, even powering  one's diesel VW - it is outside the purview of
> > PMRA, and Canada Custome pays it no heed,  (except occasionally
> > looking for GST and/or duties))

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