China approves two genetically modified canola traits

By Alice McFarlane
January 9, 2019 - 5:00pm

China's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs has granted a safety certificate for the import and use of a Liberty tolerance trait from BASF and Bayer’s TruFlex trait.

The Canola Council of Canada (CCC) applauded the news as this opens the door for new seed genetics.

CCC president Jim Everson said farmers will be able to grow more canola on the same amount of land.

“This is a great day for canola innovation,” Everson said. “These traits will make Canada’s canola crop more resilient in the face of weed, disease and weather stresses – the benefits will be felt through the value chain and the larger Canadian economy.”

The industry is still waiting for Corteva’s Optimum GLY to be fully commercialized.

All three of the traits were approved in Canada in 2012, but seed developers would not commercialize them until they were approved in major markets. CCC members voluntarily follow the policy to be sure new innovation does not create trade barriers in Canada’s top canola markets.

“Seed developers invest hundreds of millions of dollars developing a new trait, but they understand the importance of commercializing seed technology responsibly,” Everson said. “They know it’s in everyone’s best interests to keep an eye on the long game, and not just short-term opportunities. It’s one of the reasons our industry is so successful today.”

China is Canada’s largest canola seed customer.  Recently, Canada and China agreed to double agriculture trade by 2025.


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