Statement by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency on the detection of genetically modified herbicide tolerant wheat in Alberta

June 14, 2018 – Ottawa, Ontario – Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued the following statement today on the discovery of genetically modified (GM) wheat in southern Alberta:

"The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has recently completed testing of a few wheat plants found on an access road in Alberta that survived a spraying treatment for weeds. When the CFIA was notified of this finding, CFIA scientists conducted tests to determine why the wheat survived. The CFIA's tests confirmed that the wheat found was genetically modified and herbicide-tolerant. Since GM wheat is not authorized in Canada, the CFIA worked collaboratively with partners at all levels to gather as much complete, accurate and credible information about this discovery as possible.

Based on extensive scientific testing, there is no evidence that this GM wheat is present anywhere other than the isolated site where it was discovered. In addition, Health Canada has concluded that this finding does not pose a food safety risk.

While genetically modified wheat is not approved for commercial use in Canada, the same genetically modified trait has been approved in canola, corn and soybeans for over 20 years. In these crops, previous Health Canada and CFIA safety assessments have demonstrated that this trait does not pose a risk to public health, the health of animals or the environment.

The CFIA will continue to work with the landowner to monitor the area over the next three years to help prevent any GM wheat from persisting.

As a trusted science-based regulator, the CFIA is committed to being transparent and accountable to Canadians and the international community."

Detection of genetically modified herbicide tolerant wheat in Alberta

Information

CFIA Media Relations
613-773-6600
Email: media@inspection.gc.ca

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