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Apr 19, 2010

Canadian Wheat Board - Stricter Testing of Wheat Will Find GM Cross-Contamination From Other GM Crops

On 19 April 2010 Reuters reported on the statement by the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) that increased testing of the world's wheat supplies will inevitably find traces of gene-modified (GM) crops.  There is no commercialized production of GM wheat in the world today.  The contamination is due to other GM crops such as canola, corn, and soybeans being in the grain-handling system. 

The CWB is advocating that Canadian policy makers accepted this state of low-level cross-contamination.  In their opinion, acknowledging the situation upfront will protect the export market from a dramatic drop in prices if and when contamination is discovered in export shipments.  The CWB has asked Canadian trade policy negotiators to step away from "zero tolerance" and to request the acceptance of "low levels" of GM contamination in Canadian wheat exports. 

The CWB has a monopoly on selling Western Canada's wheat and barley.  It is one of the world's largest grain marketers. It makes this announcement partially in response to how trade issues were handled following the discovery GM contamination in Canadian flax shipments in 2009. As with wheat, there is no GM flax currently on the market so the contamination must have occurred during the handling process. 

For more see: Nickel, Rod.  "Stricter testing of wheat will find GMOs-Wheat Board," Reuters, 19 April 2010.

About Margaret

CEO and Curator (The Food Museum) | Managing Director and Chief Editor (GR2 Global LLC) | Educator (UCLA PhD) | Researching and writing on global food issues, nutrition and health, sustainability, history (preservation), conservation (natural resources), and design.
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