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

A research project that used CRISPR technology to make cassava resistant to mosaic virus instead allowed the virus to mutate and be passed down to the next generation. This photo compares diseased cassava, left, with healthy plants.  |  Hervé Vanderschuren photo

CRISPR gene editing can backfire

Biologists warn others to be careful when using the new technology because of what happened in a recent research project

A team of biologists is warning other researchers to be careful when using CRISPR gene editing, after finding the technology could backfire. According to a newly released scientific paper, the biologists used CRISPR on the cassava plant, hoping the technology would make it resistant to the mosaic virus. However, the method, which lets researchers precisely […] Read more

The Government of Canada believes gene edited crops can help farmers produce

Canada joins support for global gene editing

A statement on agricultural applications of precision biotechnology signed by 13 countries includes gene editing

The federal government has come out in favour of gene editing. Or, more accurately, the Government of Canada believes gene edited crops can help farmers produce “safe and affordable food, feed, fibres, and energy in the 21st century.” The quote comes from a statement released in early November and was delivered during a World Trade […] Read more


The Government of Canada believes gene edited crops can help farmers produce

Canada joins support for gene editing

The federal government has come out in favour of gene editing. Or, more accurately, the Government of Canada believes gene edited crops can help farmers produce “safe and affordable food, feed, fibres, and energy in the 21st century.” The quote comes from a statement released in early November and was delivered during a World Trade […] Read more

Ian Affleck, vice-president of plant biotechnology with CropLife Canada, said gene-edited crops could hit the market in 2019 yet Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency have given no indication if or how they will be regulated.
 | File photo

Rules for gene editing a worry

Canadian breeders and seed technology companies are anxious about how regulators will handle new crops developed through gene editing. Gene editing is the latest breakthrough in crop breeding. It involves tweaking existing genes within a plant as opposed to genetic modification, which involves inserting genes into a plant. Ian Affleck, vice-president of plant biotechnology with […] Read more


The U.S. government is adjusting regulations to deal with gene-edited plants but the Canadian Food Inspection Agency says the system doesn’t need to be updated.  |  File photo

Catching up with the times

The federal government may need to update its regulations to deal with gene-edited crops, says a spokesperson for CropLife Canada. Companies are developing new crop varieties using a technology called gene editing, in which biologists can precisely delete or add a gene to a plant’s DNA. However, leaders of crop science firms want to know […] Read more