Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

February 23, 2011 18:13 ET

A Positive Step Toward Removing Trade Barriers to Canadian Crops Entering the European Union

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 23, 2011) - Canada welcomes the recent European Union (EU) Member States approval of a proposal that will allow the import into the EU of animal feed that contains trace elements of genetically modified (GM) material. Although this is a good first step, the Government of Canada will continue to push for a solution that respects sound science and includes access for Canadian crops for uses in food.

"This is a positive step forward for Canadian producers, but access for feed and industrial use is not enough for our crop producers," said Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. "We will continue to push for a solution that respects sound science and reduces the trade barriers to our safe, high quality Canadian crops."

On February 22, the EU Member States approved a new rule that, if adopted by the European Commission, will remove an important barrier to imports of animal feed through the effective acceptance of trace elements of GM material, of up to 0.1 percent.

"Today's announcement is a sign of the increasingly strong commercial relationship we have with the European Union," said Trade Minister Peter Van Loan. "Canada's free trade negotiations with the European Union are our government's top trade initiative. A successful agreement could provide a $12 billion boost to the Canadian economy."

The Government of Canada considers that decisions on biotechnology must be founded on sound science. Minister Ritz was in Europe last month to reinforce that point and advocate Canadian producers' interests. He met with EU commissioners and members of the European Parliament to promote a regulation to reduce costly trade disruptions by covering feed, food and products for industrial use.

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Media Relations
    The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
    Meagan Murdoch
    Press Secretary