It has been 15 years since genetically engineered (GE) crops and foods were first introduced into Canada. Currently there are 4 GE crops grown in Canada:
The above four crops are either insect resistant (genetically engineered to produce its own internal pesticide and thus regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as an insecticide), herbicide tolerant (resists being sprayed with weedkillers), or are “stacked” with both traits. We could also be importing GE papaya, squash, cottonseed oil and milk products from the US.
(Read Canola Oil Was Never Intended To Be Consumed By People fascinating article by Elizabeth Dougherty about why Canola Oil was never intended to be consumed by humans.)
The following genetically engineered crops exist, but are not currently sold on the Canadian market:
- Apple – A small BC company has asked the Canadian and U.S. governments to approve a genetically modified ‘non-browning’ apple.
- Alfalfa – Monsanto’s GE alfalfa is not yet legal in Canada!
- Flax – Canadian farmers suffered a GE flax contamination crisis in late 2009 even though the flax is not on the market.
- Potato – Research on GE potatoes continues.
- Rice – People across the world are fighting to stop GE rice.
- Wheat – Monsanto defied global rejection and has pledges to develop a new GE wheat.
How can you avoid eating GMOs?
Choose products that bear a Canada Organic or Non-GMO Project certification. Learn more on the Organic Federation of Canada website.
Information about genetically engineered crops in Canada comes from the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN) website.