The author argues that Health Canada is proposing a non-approval process for gene edited products that will erode trust in the food system. | File photo

Maintaining public trust in food system requires public regulation

Millions of dollars and countless hours spent building public trust could be undone if Health Canada finalizes its proposed new regulatory guidance for products of gene editing (also called genome editing). Despite biotechnology industry complaints that regulation is just red tape that hampers competitiveness, companies rely on the legitimacy that government regulation provides. If the […] Read more

A study recently published by the European Commission says current legislation on genetically modified organisms adopted in 2001 is not up to the task of regu-lating gene-edited crops and is in need of modernization. | Getty Images

EU appears to soften gene editing stance

The European Union appears to be backtracking on its stance that gene-edited crops should be treated the same way as genetically modified crops. A study recently published by the European Commission says current legislation on genetically modified organisms adopted in 2001 is not up to the task of regulating gene-edited crops and is in need […] Read more

The government is asking for interested parties to put in their two cents. For farmers, these regulations are worth a lot more than that. | Getty Images

Canadian gene editing rule deserves farmer support

While it might be arriving at seeding time, it might also be worth having some say. Canada’s proposed rules for gene-edited crops are up for discussion for the next month or so and, so far, things are looking good for a science-based outcome, one that is compatible with other major exporters including the United States. […] Read more


To develop the new guidelines, Health Canada experts reviewed the science around gene-edited crops and concluded that the technology is safe for human consumption and the environment. | Getty Images

Health Canada declares gene editing safe

The ruling is expected to give Canadian producers access 
to the same types of plant breeding available in other countries

Canadian farmers may soon be growing gene-edited crops. That’s because Health Canada has declared that gene-editing technology is safe. Last week, Health Canada proposed new rules to oversee plant breeding innovation, including gene editing. Within the proposed guidelines, released March 25, federal scientists say that gene editing is just as safe as conventional plant breeding. […] Read more

To develop the new guidelines, Health Canada experts reviewed the science around gene-edited crops and concluded that the technology is safe for human consumption and the environment. | Getty Images

Gene edited crops are safe: Health Canada

UPDATED: March 26, 2021 – 1425 CST – adds audio comments from Erin Gowriluk, executive director of the Grain Growers of Canada Health Canada has declared that gene-edited crops are safe. On March 25, the department launched a public consultation for what it’s calling a “Proposed new guidance pieces for the Novel Foods Regulation, focused […] Read more


Burnt bread contains a compound known as acrylamide, a chemical that can cause cancer. Plant scientists in England have found a way to reduce the cancer risk from toasted bread using gene editing. | Robert Arnason photo

Gene editing reduces burnt toast risk

Burnt toast — it has a nasty smell that lingers in the house and could be a threat to your health. Burnt bread contains a compound known as acrylamide, a chemical that can cause cancer. The darker the toast, the more acrylamide in the bread. While most people toss black toast in the trash, some […] Read more

American scientists are worried that new U.S. rules to govern GMOs make a distinction between genetic modification and gene editing.  | File photo

Researchers want GMO transparency

There has long been consumer interest in genetically modified food, including criticism that there is not enough public information about GM and gene edited crops in the food supply. Now, researchers at North Carolina State University are calling for a coalition of the biotech industry, government, non-government organizations, trade organizations and academic experts to tackle […] Read more

To correct misperceptions about gene-edited crops and provide information about their benefits, CropLife Canada, along with the Canadian Seed Trade Association and the Canada Grains Council, have launched a new website: https://naturenurtured.ca/. | Screencap via naturenurtured.ca

Forty percent of Canadians link GMOs and gene editing

Canadians don’t know much, or think much, about gene-edited crops. But when asked about the technology, one phrase pops up: genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Last summer, CropLife Canada hired a polling firm to gauge public knowledge and perceptions about gene-edited crops. One of the questions was: what words do you associate with gene-edited crops? About […] Read more


Andrew Sharpe director of the Plant Phenotyping and Imaging Research Centre at the U of Sask., says this work provides a new model for building other genome assemblies for crops such as wheat, canola and lentils.  |  U of S/David Stobbe photo

New sequencing technique boosts gene editing potential

Gene editing has been touted as a revolutionary technology for plant breeding. It allows scientists to delete genes from a plant’s genomes or add genes from the same family of plants to achieve a desired crop trait. Maybe a canola with more resistance to a fungal disease. But there’s one problem. Much of the time, […] Read more

The industry wants Canadian regulators to adopt a tiered system in which low risk technologies do not require the same level of scrutiny as others.  |  File photo

Canola council hopes for quick action on gene editing

Industry says Canada is falling dangerously behind trade partners in determining how the technology will be treated

The Canola Council of Canada has an extensive wish list for the federal government this Christmas season. One of the items topping the list is regulatory reform. Council president Jim Everson told delegates attending the Canola Industry Meeting that Ottawa needs to quickly figure out how it will be regulating gene editing breeding techniques. Canada […] Read more