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Canada to unveil its proposal to permit GMOs in food


The federal government is set to unveil its draft plan for managing low-level presence of GMOs in food and feed products in September.

According to a Postmedia News article, Canada is set to unveil its proposal to the World Trade Organization this fall, even as government officials admit they don't trust all countries equally when it comes to how they approve use of the organisms.

The initial proposal was to permit the presence of GMOs in food up to a maximum level of 0.1 per cent of any batch or lot tested because the government believes avoiding trace levels of GMOs altogether will become impossible over time.

In internal records obtained by Postmedia News show that feedback from industry, organic producers and food experts during a first round of consultations raised many questions.

In GMO crops, the genetic material (DNA) of plant species has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally, usually involving transferring selected individual genes from one organism into another or between non-related species.

Opponents raise health and environmental concerns and want mandatory food-labelling rules to let consumers know of the presence of GMOs.

GMO-approved crops around the world has grown from an estimated 30 in 2009 to more than 100 by 2015, making the accidental low-level presence of GMOs in imported crops an emerging major international trade issue.

For example, when a genetically modified crop is authorized for use in a country, trace amounts can contaminate other varieties or crops that were not meant to be genetically engineered during cultivation, harvest, transportation or processing.

GM crops approved in Canada include canola, corn, soybean and sugar beet.

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