Science-based regulatory regimes for GM crops are essential to the canola industry's continued success
To maintain a promising future for canola, in Canada and worldwide, the canola industry supports the continuation of a science-based regulatory system governing the introduction of GM technology.
This sound approach:
Ensures the safety of a crop for human and animal consumption, and for the environment
Helps to maintain the integrity of global trade, allowing Canadian canola to compete for global markets on its own merits
Assures continued investment in canola research - the key to our survival amid increasing global competition
Canada's canola industry is committed to preserving this important advantage
Our industry has imposed voluntary restraints upon itself to prevent any biotech trait from being approved in Canada unless it first meets the regulatory requirements of our key export customer countries.
Our efforts have paid off. Canadian GM canola has never been rejected by any of these key customers. All have passed regulations specifying that the GM canola varieties grown in Canada are safe for humans, animals and the environment. Despite intensive lobbying, key markets such as Japan and Mexico continue to use and advocate science-based safety evaluations to determine whether to permit the importation of GM crops.
However, continued vigilance is needed. The EU, which has a canola/rapeseed production base, has demonstrated that it can and will use GM status as a means to control imports. Many smaller countries – including several potential markets for Canadian canola – are considering implementation of rules governing imports of GM technology.
Canada sets the example for the world
As the major canola production region, Canada has a responsibility to maintain a science-based regulatory approval process here at home. Without it, there would be severe consequences for the canola industry around the world:
Key customers would no longer be able to cite the Canadian example of science-based regulatory approvals to validate similar systems in their own countries.
The door would be open for other countries to use non-science-based criteria to control imports.
Uncertainty would arise regarding the security of trade.
Investment in Canadian canola research would be at risk. In an uncertain regulatory environment, R&D dollars might be diverted into crops that are larger on a global scale, such as soybeans.
Through the Canola Council of Canada, stakeholders work together to maintain a science-based regulatory regime that supports responsible progress within the industry.