News release: Sask Wheat confident in the quality and safety of Canadian wheat
Saskatoon (June 18, 2018) – Following the detection of genetically modified (GM), herbicide-tolerant wheat in Alberta, the Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission (Sask Wheat) is confident that the high-quality and safe reputation of Canadian wheat around the world will be reinforced.
After finding a few herbicide-tolerant plants on an isolated service road in southern Alberta, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) conducted extensive testing and has found no evidence that GM wheat has entered the seed supply, animal feed supply, food system or any grain shipments destined for export markets.
“The CFIA and provincial and national government agencies have worked diligently to ensure no GM wheat has made its way into grain stocks or shipments,” says Laura Reiter, Sask Wheat Chair. “Sask Wheat is confident in the CFIA’s extensive sampling and testing and stands with our colleagues in Alberta and across Canada in assuring customers of Canadian wheat that we grow grain of the highest quality and to the highest standards for safety.”
A detection test for GM wheat was developed by the CFIA as part of this investigation and is now being offered for free to international customers of Canadian wheat. Canada has a rigorous monitoring and regulatory system in place and is recognized as a world leader in maintaining the safety and integrity of our food supply and animal feed. Sask Wheat will continue to work closely with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the CFIA and our industry partners to maintain the confidence in our regulatory system and Canadian wheat.
“This situation shows that the system works and that Canada will do what is necessary to protect our reputation, and the reputation of Canadian farmers, globally,” says Reiter. “Although action has been taken by Japan and South Korea to suspend wheat imports, we are confident that these measures will be temporary and should be quickly resolved, allowing Canadian wheat to flow into these countries once again.”
GM wheat was developed and tested in the late 1990s and early 2000s but has never been approved or made commercially available in any country in the world.
Producers attending the Sask Wheat Semi-Annual Meeting on Wednesday, June 20 at Evraz Place in Regina will have the opportunity to learn more about the GM wheat situation. Registration is available on the Sask Wheat website: saskwheat.ca.
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