File photo of a canola field in northern France’s Normandy region. (Brasil2/iStock/Getty Images)

France backs non-GMO regulation for crop gene-editing in EU

Reading Time: < 1 minute Paris | Reuters — France sees crops developed using gene-editing techniques as different to genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and opposes a European Union court decision to put them under strict GMO regulations, the country’s agriculture minister said. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled in 2018 that mutagenesis, among so-called new breeding techniques (NBT) based […] Read more

Some corn hybrids were among the first genetically modified crops to reach the market.

Some GM crops could hit market without review

Traits that could have been achieved through traditional breeding might not require approval

Reading Time: 2 minutes Reuters – The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced a rule that will simplify or waive agency reviews of certain biotech farm products, including plants and seeds that have been genetically modified or engineered. As a result, some products could be sold to farmers without a USDA review — a move that comes despite concerns […] Read more

Knowledge helps change GMO opinions

Knowledge helps change GMO opinions

Science Notes: Skepticism toward science, technology largely due to a lack of understanding

Reading Time: 2 minutes The practice of altering foods genetically through the introduction of a gene from a different organism has courted controversy right from the start. While genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are considered safe by an overwhelming majority of scientists, including the National Academy of Sciences, the World Health Organization, and the American Medical Association, only about one-third […] Read more

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a visit to Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy in Council Bluffs, Iowa on June 11, 2019. (Photo: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)

Trump simplifies reviews of genetically modified farm products

Reading Time: 2 minutes Council Bluffs | Reuters — U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday directing federal agencies to streamline the review process for agricultural biotechnology including genetically modified livestock and seeds. Trump signed the order during a visit to an ethanol plant in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The executive order, he said, would “speed up […] Read more

Beijing allows imports of GM soybeans and corn for animal feed, but it does not allow farmers to plant them.

Biotech crops still a sticking point in U.S.-China trade deal

The issue is one of a number of complaints the U.S. administration has raised

Reading Time: 2 minutes Reuters – China’s lengthy approval process for genetically modified crops remains a sticking point in talks to end the trade war between China and the United States, according to two sources with knowledge of the talks. Beijing has taken years to approve new strains of GM crops, which U.S. companies and farmers have complained stalls […] Read more


Canadian researchers could be at a disadvantage if gene edited crops and livestock are more quickly approved in other countries.

How will gene-editing reach the farm?

Biotech advocates say regulatory clarity is critical, but not available in Canada

Reading Time: 4 minutes Biotechnology experts and supporters from the agriculture and medical sectors met in Toronto recently to discuss how Canada’s regulatory system could better enable the safe commercialization of gene-edited plants and animals. Hosted by Ontario Agri-Food Technologies and CropLife Canada, the March 7 meeting provided an overview of gene-editing regulations in various countries around the world. […] Read more

Flags in front of the European Commission headquarters in Brussels. (Inakiantonana/E+/Getty Images)

U.S. to seek comprehensive ag access in EU trade talks

Reading Time: < 1 minute Washington | Reuters — The United States on Friday signaled it would not bow to the European Union’s request to keep agriculture out of this year’s planned U.S.-EU trade talks, publishing negotiating objectives that seek comprehensive EU access for American farm products. The objectives, required by Congress under the “fast-track” trade negotiating authority law, seek […] Read more

Wheat has lagged in speed of development compared to other crops. That could change now that the genome has been sequenced.

Wheat’s bigger future

New genetic tools are emerging after the sequencing of the wheat genome

Reading Time: 3 minutes The sequencing of the wheat genome means researchers will finally have access to genetic tools to help with wheat development — an advantage other crops have had for years. It should also mean that Ontario growers will see quicker-developed varieties with traits like fusarium head blight resistance. Wheat’s genome was finally sequenced earlier this year […] Read more


The Government of Canada believes gene edited crops can help farmers produce “safe and affordable food, feed, fibres, and energy in the 21st century.”

Canada joins group supporting gene editing

Twelve countries issued a joint statement in support of the plant breeding process

Reading Time: 3 minutes 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

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Wilf Keller elected new AIC board chair

Reading Time: < 1 minute Wilf Keller is the new head of the Agricultural Institute of Canada. Keller is a well-known agricultural researcher who has worked for nearly 40 years mainly in the field of biotechnology development and application for the genetic modification of crops. In this time he has led numerous major research efforts. Keller worked at the Research […] Read more