Cereals Canada meets with Japanese officials following GM wheat discovery

Japanese officials are in Canada this week to follow up on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s confirmation of an isolated case of genetically modified wheat plants growing in southern Alberta.

Japan halted purchases of Canadian wheat on Friday, the day after the CFIA said a limited number of glyphosate-tolerant wheat plants were found growing along an oil site access road in southern Alberta last summer.

The CFIA says none of the wheat entered the grain handling or seed production system.

The temporary suspension of imports by Japan until it has conducted its own investigation is viewed as standard protocol for the country. Officials from the Japanese government have since flown to Canada, and met with representatives from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Canadian Grain Commission.

On Wednesday, the Japanese officials met with Cereals Canada and other grain industry representatives.

Canadian grain industry officials say they expect the Japanese officials will be reporting their findings back to Japan’s health and agriculture ministers, where it’s anticipated a decision will be made on resuming wheat imports from Canada.

The CFIA has also shared a validated test for the GM trait with Japan’s government.

South Korea followed Japan’s lead in halting imports of Canadian wheat, and is expected to follow Japan’s lead in resuming imports.

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Kelvin Heppner

Kelvin Heppner is a field editor and radio host for RealAgriculture and RealAg Radio. He's been reporting on agriculture on the prairies and across Canada since 2008(ish). He farms with his family near Altona, Manitoba, and is on Twitter at @realag_kelvin. @realag_kelvin

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