GMO wheat halts shipments

Unauthorized genetically modified wheat found growing in Alberta

Japan suspends sale of Canadian wheat over discovery of Monsanto-made GMO

David Bailey, an agency spokesman, says there is no evidence the wheat is in Canada's grain or seed system and there should be no effect on grain exports. 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 concerns by consumers.

In 2013, several Asian countries temporarily banned USA wheat imports after genetically modified wheat was found unexpectedly in a field on an OR farm. After they were tested, it was learned that they were genetically modified to resist herbicide.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says unapproved genetically modified wheat that is resistant to herbicides was found in southern Alberta last summer, but the problem has been mitigated.

None of the wheat from the "isolated patch" made its way into the commercial system, officials said Thursday - nor does the discovery pose a risk to food safety.

The Japanese embassy in Ottawa said Friday the country's ministry of agriculture, forestry and fisheries temporarily suspended the import tender and sale of Canadian wheat to domestic milling companies in response to the CFIA's announcement.

Losing Japanese buyers, who pay a premium for high-quality, high-protein wheat, hurts Canada and creates opportunities for US and Australian wheat exporters, Dahl said. "We hope that it's very brief", Bender said Friday. "They are the highest grade buyer of Canadian wheat in the world".

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Horowitz did establish some limits about what he's expected to conclude in his report. But it found that his decisions were not driven by political bias.

Steve says the time is now to get the situation resolved.

Bilous says there have been three similar incidents in the United States in the last five years, and said it took less than two months for the investigation to be completed and trade to resume.

He says his office is in contact with the Japanese consul-general in Alberta and he has spoken with staff at Alberta's trade office in Japan.

The discovery was enough for Japan to shut the door on Canadian wheat, and other countries may follow suit, hurting farmers.

How the 12 GMO plants came into Alberta is still under investigation by the CFIA.

The CFIA said it will work with the landowner to monitor the area over the next three years to help prevent any genetically modified wheat from persisting. All of 2017's Alberta shipments were valued at $203M.

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