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[SANET-MG] Canadian canola pollution
The articles below feature the growing global concern over GM pollution
of Canadian canola. The article deals with conventional GM canola and
neglects the excessive field testing of GM canola modified with a gene
for the anticoagulant hirudin. Because canola is sexually promiscuous it
is likely that the hirudin gene has been fixed in the canola seed
distribution. The Canadian government and its public relations arms in
the news media have stonewalled discussion of the toxin tests using
Canaola.Like their careless dealing with mad cow disease the Canadian
government bureaucrats have been diligent in concealing significant
problems rather than facing and solving the problems.International
governments should not turn a blind eye to the consequence of the GM
pharmaceutical crop testing in western Canada and its impact on Canadian
From GM WATCH daily
Genetic contamination from GM canola (OSR) in Canada is at such horrific
levels that organic growers have had to abandon growing the crop and the
problems for conventional farmers, like Percy Schmeiser, are known world
wide. But Canada has also been exporting its problems...
From Akiko Frid in Japan:
It was on the first page of one of the farmer's paper in Canada this
"Isman said the volunteer problem is easily managed by cutting the
plants down, pulling them out or spraying chemical on them". (Barb
Isman, president of the Canola Council of Canada)
You know who is pulling them out? It is done by worried citizens in
Japan. They spend their own energy and time, as well as their own pocket
money to go out and pull them up. Because they are extremely worried,
whatever the government's "safety assessment" says. Polluter must pay,
and Canada should stop exporting GMO contamination to Japan!
Spread of genetically engineered canola contamination confirmed across Japan
– Canadian GE canola the culprit
Japanese rethinking GM canola
This document web posted: Wednesday June 8, 2005 20050609p1
By Sean Pratt
A country that regularly buys half of Canada's canola seed exports is
contemplating whether it will continue to accept shipments containing
genetically modified product.
Japan is re-evaluating the regulatory approval of GM canola through a
new law intended to ensure the smooth implementation of the Cartagena
Protocol on Biosafety, an international agreement governing the movement
"If it is not reapproved, GM canola will not be in the Japanese market,"
said Chie Yoshitomi, third secretary for the Japanese Embassy in Canada.
That would be a huge blow to the canola industry, which regularly ships
1.7 million tonnes of seed to that destination. But according to the
embassy's agricultural attache the word out of Tokyo is that since GM
canola was approved under the old guidelines it is "unlikely" there will
be any problem meeting the new requirements. "This will probably be
approved, but it's not for sure," said Yoshitomi.
However, the uncertainty over the new Japanese legislation is creating
anxiety in canola circles.
"The whole issue of gene technology has become so sensitized that there
really is no such thing as a rubber stamp when it comes to the product,"
said Barb Isman, president of the Canola Council of Canada. "This stuff
is studied and tested and mulled over probably more than any technology
in the history of food production."
The council has kept a close eye on the progress of the legislation
since it was enacted in June 2003, but there have been few developments
and Japanese officials are reluctant to divulge when public hearings
will wrap up. "That was one of the questions we asked and we were told,
'when it ends,' " said Isman.
GM varieties are currently accepted under a temporary transitional
measure but a spokesperson for the Japanese ministry of agriculture was
recently quoted as saying a new food and feed safety assessment based on
the Cartagena protocol will be conducted in the near future.
Greenpeace Canada campaigner Eric Darier said that review could spell
disaster for prairie canola growers. "It could mean that Canadian
farmers would be facing another problem in terms of exporting Canadian
One thing that won't help their cause is the recent discovery of GM
canola volunteers growing near a number of Japanese ports.
In February the Japanese Institute for Environmental Studies published
the findings of its investigation that found herbicide-resistant canola
growing around five of the six ports where samples were collected.
Japan's ministry of agriculture has stated there is no need to worry
about the environmental impact of the escaped GM seeds, but it has
recommended the Japan Oilseed Processors Association clean up the
The canola council has also been working with the Japanese crushing
industry because Canada provides about 80 percent of Japan's seed
imports. However, Isman pointed out that the extent of contamination
amounted to about 700 plants. "I took 700 seeds and that represents a
tablespoon. And we ship them between 1.5 and 1.8 million tonnes per year."
Darier said the incident is galvanizing opposition to GM canola in a
country that consumes domestically grown rapeseed, mustards and other
related crops. "This GE contamination in Japan is potentially very, very
bad news for Canadian farmers who are growing canola."
Isman said the volunteer problem is easily managed by cutting the plants
down, pulling them out or spraying chemical on them. However, she
remains a little nervous about the broader reapproval process because of
its potentially disastrous ramifications and how long it seems to be
dragging out. "If you look at this from a scientific perspective we have
nothing but confidence. If you look at this from a political perspective
I don't know. I can't gauge that," said Isman.
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