Genetically Modified Wheat Genetically engineered wheat GM wheat GE wheat monsanto GMO Monsanto biotech
. Organic Consumers Association
Genetically Modified Wheat Genetically engineered wheat GM wheat GE wheat monsanto GMO Monsanto biotech
.. Campaigning for Food Safety, Organic Agriculture, Fair Trade & Sustainability.
News Events Campaigns Participate Publications Find Organics

OCA Home

Campaigns


Campaign Against GM Wheat Menu:

Take Action

Downloads/ Materials

Monsanto
News

Genetically Modified Wheat Genetically engineered wheat GM wheat GE wheat monsanto GMO Monsanto biotech

 
Genetically Modified Wheat Genetically engineered wheat GM wheat GE wheat monsanto GMO Monsanto biotech
Campaigns--->Campaign Against Genetically Engineered Wheat---> Article

Genetically Engineered Wheat Article

Canadian Government Mum on GE Wheat

Saturday, April 19, 2003

The Canadian government hasn�t yet reacted to proposals from food and farm industry groups on how the market impact of genetically engineered wheat could be assessed separately from reviewing the health and safety of the prospective crop. The lack of response has left proponents of the assessment somewhat puzzled (see FCN April 14, Page 7). The concern is that if Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency approve Monsanto�s Roundup Ready wheat, the Canadian Wheat Board could lose the buyers for more than 80% of its wheat. The health and safety review is well under way, and many observers expect it could be done in time for Monsanto to start producing seed by 2005.

While Agriculture Minister Lyle Vanclief has agreed to the idea that there should be a market impact test, federal officials don�t seem to have many ideas on how it could be done. That�s why the Wheat Board, Grain Growers of Canada and the Canadian National Millers Association came forward with three separate proposals for conducting the assessment. So far they have had no reaction from the government. Asked about the situation, Jamie Oxley, an Agriculture Department spokesman, said the three proposals are under review. �We are actively pursuing it,� he told FCN, adding that the differences among the options �shows the breadth of the debate over GE wheat.� He wouldn�t comment directly on the various proposals other than to say that the government could combine elements from all three in its ultimate position on the market impact test.

Such a proposal would have to include the conditions under which an unfavorable market response would block the introduction of a product that passes the health and safety process, he added. However, the government won�t be able to dodge the issue for too long. When Parliament resumes after the Easter break, Agriculture committee chairman Paul Steckle says there will be additional hearings on the issue. MPs want to know what Vanclief and senior officials think of the various proposals. The CWB�s Patty Rosher was the least concerned about the lack of a response. �We know that Mr. Vanclief understands the issue,� she said. �Right now, there are a lot of interdepartmental discussions going on about the market harm issue.� She added that, in time, the government would start consulting with producers. But Gordon Harrison, the head of the Millers Association, said he was surprised by the silence, since his group called for a regulation requiring all new crops to undergo a market impact review. Its test would also look at whether a new crop would affect the grain handling and food processing sectors as well as farmers.

The CWB wants only a regulated market impact test of Monsanto�s Roundup Ready wheat, while Grain Growers prefer a voluntary farmer-led review process. All three groups agree the market test shouldn�t interfere in the science-based health and safety review. They also want to make sure the market impact test doesn�t lead to trade challenges against Canada. Denise Dewar of CropLife Canada said she�s concerned that the demands for a regulatory market impact test could stymie the introduction of new crops. �It would stop the wheels so fast, and take us down a path we don�t want to go,� she said. Dewar added that she had heard concerns from International Trade Department officials about challenges to a market impact test. CWB�s Rosher agreed that the market impact test had to be handled carefully �so we don�t stymie further innovation.� However, the CWB still thinks �there is a regulatory gap that has to be closed.� � Alex Binkley

 
Send us your email address:
 

 

Genetically Modified Wheat Genetically engineered wheat GM wheat GE wheat monsanto GMO Monsanto biotech

 News | Campaigns | GE Food | Organics | Irradiation | Find Organics | Events
Mad Cow | Globalization | Cloning | rBGH | Food Safety | Newsletter | Search
Volunteer | Donate | About | Home | Recommend Site | Email This Page | Site Map

Organic Consumers Association
6101 Cliff Estate Rd, Little Marais, MN 55614
E-mail:Staff · Activist or Media Inquiries: 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652
Please support our work. Send a tax-deductible donation to the OCA