Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Japan halts Canadian wheat shipments after genetically modified plant found in Alberta

Unauthorized genetically modified wheat found growing in Alberta Japan suspends sale of Canadian wheat over discovery of Monsanto-made GMO
Priscilla Morrison | 18 June, 2018, 03:48

Japan banned imports of Canadian wheat Friday after it was discovered that some of the grain was genetically modified.

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. While other crops such as corn and soybeans have been widely genetically modified to improve yield or withstand threats, GMO wheat has not been approved anywhere for commercial production because of consumers' concerns.

The organization at that point narrowed down the manufacturer for the plant to be Monsanto, the agrochemical and biotechnology titan.

In a statement, Monsanto spokeswoman Trish Jordan said "there are no food, feed or environmental safety concerns associated with the presence of the glyphosate tolerance, if it is found to be present in wheat".

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.

That would put Canada's annual $11-billion wheat export business at risk, said Sharratt, whose Halifax-based organization has 16 member groups across the country critical of genetically modified food.

More news: GA woman strangles rabid bobcat that attacked her in her yard

Bender says he is not aware of any other countries following Japan's lead.

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

The agency recently completed testing on the plants, which confirmed the wheat was herbicide-tolerant and genetically modified, something not approved for commercial use in Canada.

This comes as grain containing a genetically-modified trait was discovered last summer in Canada's Alberta province. "We want to be able to assure the world that Canada continues to produce the highest quality wheat that's GMO-free and that's safe".

They also looked at almost 170,000 individual kernels of grain from more than 1,500 export shipments over the last three years.

"It's disappointing that there has been this temporary suspension on the import of our wheat", said Bilous. "They buy the top quality Canadian wheat and they buy it early in the season and pay a good price for it". "Without knowing the cause, contamination could happen again".

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