Some genetically modified wheat found in Alberta, should not impact trade: CFIA

By The Canadian Press
June 14, 2018 - 5:15pm

EDMONTON — Canadian officials say they do not expect any negative impact on grain exports after some unauthorized genetically modified wheat was discovered in southern Alberta.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says it has completed tests on wheat found on a farm access road after the plants survived a spraying treatment for weeds.

The agency says it turns out the wheat was genetically modified to be herbicide-tolerant.

Such modified wheat is not approved for commercial use in Canada.

David Bailey, an agency spokesman, says there is no evidence the wheat is in Canada's grain or seed system and there should be no effect on grain exports.

"It is not in our commercial system and therefore is not in our trade of grain and seed — it is not a concern for agriculture," he said Thursday.

"We are doing everything we can to keep business running as usual for Canadian wheat producers."

Health Canada has also concluded the modified wheat does not pose a food safety risk. 

The CFIA says it isn't sure how the modified wheat came to be on the farm access road.

The agency says it will work with the landowner to monitor the area over the next three years to help prevent any genetically modified wheat from persisting.

In 2013, several Asian countries temporarily banned U.S. wheat imports after genetically modified wheat was found unexpectedly in a field on an Oregon farm.

Agriculture Canada says it is notifying Canada's key wheat trading partners to provide them with all relevant information.

"Based on the extensive scientific testing by the CFIA, there is no evidence that this wheat is present anywhere other than the isolated site where it was discovered," the department said in an email.

"This wheat is also not a match for any currently registered seed varieties authorized for commercial sale or production in Canada, nor is it present in the Canadian grain or seed supply." (CKRM, The Canadian Press, AP)

 

The Canadian Press

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