Unapproved genetically modified wheat found in Canada

Genetically modified wheat is not approved for commercial use in Canada for growing or seed production

The Canadian grain export system has avoided an global black eye after federal officials determined a rogue clump of Roundup-resistant wheat found in southern Alberta was an isolated incident.

The Japanese farm ministry on June 15 said it has suspended its tender and sale of wheat from Canada until it is able to confirm that the Canadian wheat that it buys contains no GMOs.

Vigilance OGM is a network of diverse groups and individuals in Quebec including farmers, environmentalists, consumers, and citizens who are concerned with what we eat everyday and the health and environmental impacts of using genetically modified crops.

"The government of Canada is working with its key trading partners to ensure they have all the necessary information and are relying on science-based evidence to limit market disruption", he wrote Friday.

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

The Alberta government said the dozen genetically modified red spring wheat plants were found last fall in a roadside ditch near Strathmore, east of Calgary.

Canada is one of the world's largest wheat exporters.

Genetically modified wheat is not approved by any government and is therefore illegal.

"We know if (it) is found in exports, those export markets will close, at least temporarily". "When the CFIA was notified of this finding, CFIA scientists conducted tests to determine why the wheat survived". "What we can say with confidence is it has not left that location".

"This wheat is also not a match for any now registered seed varieties authorized for commercial sale or production in Canada, nor is it present in the Canadian grain or seed supply".

"The CFIA will continue to work with the landowner to monitor the area over the next 3 years to help prevent any GM wheat from persisting".

Officials found the plants off an access road - and not the main growing area - of a farm in southern Alberta in summer of past year.

Losing Japanese buyers, who pay a premium for high-quality, high-protein wheat, hurts Canada and creates opportunities for USA and Australian wheat exporters, Dahl said. Herbicide resistant canola, soy and corn has been allowed in Canada for more than 20 years.

Tom Steve, general manager of Alberta Wheat Commission, says that the province's farming industry will be able to tolerate a suspension for a little while, but it could run into problems if it runs into September or October.

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