A scientist compares Golden Rice, right, and ordinary rice. Golden Rice is genetically modified to be infused with beta-carotene, a chemical substance responsible in producing vitamin A in the body. The biofortified rice helps prevent vitamin A deficiency, which causes immunity deficiency syndrome and is the leading cause of blindness in children in developing nations. |  REUTERS/Erik De Castro photo

Biofortification: the art of improving food

Examples of biofortification 
projects include:


The potential for crop breeding known as biofortification to direct specific nutrients to people who need them the most is “huge,” but it will take a worldwide effort among many organizations to make that happen, says Adam Heurberger, assistant professor of horticulture and landscape agriculture at Colorado State University. Biofortification involves breeding plants with high […] Read more

‘Fake news’ term not to be used lightly

I have, in recent weeks, come across the term “fake news” when people want to express their concern with an element in a story or column. This term has caught on and is being used as a tool to denigrate other people’s communication. It is often used inappropriately. The term was popularized by U.S. President […] Read more


Combatting bad press

On Nov. 1, The Western Producer published a story under the headline, “Canadian pulses attacked in India’s press.” The story detailed how the Times of India, the country’s largest English language newspaper, published a story a week earlier warning readers about a government statement on glyphosate in daal (split, dried pulses) imported from Canada and […] Read more

Parsing an increasing population

When AGT Food and ingredients’ Murad Al-Katib mentioned the expected growth in world population at Grain World last week, I got curious. I’ve heard the number several times, but I wondered what more there is too it. Understandably, Al-Katib sees tremendous opportunity for Canada’s agricultural sector. Indeed, it’s not just the growth in population that […] Read more


Farm groups delighted as CPTPP ratified

When the House of Commons ratified the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership last week, followed quickly by royal assent, many farm groups reacted with glee. Canada is the fifth country to ratify the agreement — Mexico, Japan, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand are the others — which encompasses 11 countries and almost 500 […] Read more

Pot puns need to be nipped in the bud

If you’re curious now that marijuana is legal in Canada, there is no shortage of news articles for your edification. Several media outlets have had fun with the whole thing, which actually is quite a thing, because a Toronto-Dominion Bank paper says legalized cannabis will add $8 billion annually to the economy. Noting the marijuana […] Read more

Border divides trade deal opinions

It’s interesting to take a quick look at how the Canadian and U.S. media viewed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement in the immediate aftermath of its announcement. In Canada, it was mainly relief. In the U.S., it was mostly, “did we win?” The Toronto Star noted that it “came down to making a few acceptable concessions […] Read more


Canada’s governing dilemma

Running a large country like Canada is to surge from one dilemma to another. While negotiating a United States-Mexico-Canada trade deal, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was also dealing with the Trans Mountain Pipeline issue. He’s taken the middle ground — not appealing the Federal Appeal Court ruling halting the pipeline, in part because of inadequate […] Read more

Discerning readers will notice that we’ve been writing a lot about farmers’ use of chemicals lately.
 | File photo

Our coverage of chemicals worthwhile

Discerning readers will notice that we’ve been writing a lot about farmers’ use of chemicals lately. There are four stories in this week’s Western Producer: one about the low thresholds used by Health Canada for neonicotinoids, one detailing how beekeepers in Western Canada are worried that a ban on neonics will result in farmers using […] Read more