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Seed trade welcomes efforts on low level presence

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Seed trade welcomes efforts on low level presence
The Government of Canada is set to tackle non-tariff trade barriers, including zero tolerance for products of biotechnology, to facilitate the trade of agricultural products between Canada and the European Union, according to a statement from the Canadian Seed Trade Association.


February 1, 2011
By Canadian Seed Trade Association

Feb. 1, 2011 The Canadian Seed Trade Association is pleased that the Government of Canada is tackling non-tariff trade barriers, such as zero tolerance for products of biotechnology, to facilitate the trade of Canadian agricultural products between Canada and the European Union (EU).

"With his just concluded mission to the EU, Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Gerry Ritz has taken a direct approach to resolving a very serious problem that is negatively impacting our industry," said CSTA President Wayne Unger. "We appreciate that the Minister and his government have placed a high priority on resolving this trade issue."

EU countries are the second largest market for Canadian seed. Non-science based bans and zero tolerance levels for genetically modified products, continue to have a detrimental effect on CSTA’s seed exporter members. "Our members have had contracts revised or cancelled and have had shipments turned back from EU destinations for the presence of very, very low levels of GM material that has been proven safe for humans, livestock and the environment, using science based assessment and approval processes," said Mr. Unger. " As a result, Canada’s average exports of seed to EU countries have declined over the last three years."

CSTA is a strong supporter of science based regulations and trade, and has placed a very high priority on the development and implementation of an international policy on the low level presence of GM material approved in one or more countries but not in the country of import, to facilitate the international trade of seed and other agricultural products. The Minister’s focus on this issue in meetings with his counterparts in European Countries is appreciated. CSTA looks forward to working with the Government of Canada to further open EU markets to Canada’s high quality, safe seed.