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Health Canada Guidance Supports Seed Innovation for Canola Farmers

Canadian Canola Growers Association (CCGA) welcomes Health Canada’s guidance relating to the Novel Food Regulations and plant breeding innovation. It provides a predictable risk-based approach for new breeding techniques while maintaining food safety and transparency for Canadians. 

"Canola is a story of continual innovation and our farms’ competitiveness and sustainability rely on a regulatory framework that supports innovation and growth of our sector," says Mike Ammeter, Chair of CCGA. "Plant breeding advancements, such as gene editing, can provide quicker access to new seed varieties with the potential to mitigate growing pest and disease pressures, increase plant yields, and further canola farmers’ sustainability contributions.” 

Canola is an export dependent crop with 90% of domestic production exported annually. The guidance from Health Canada aligns with Canada’s trading partners and places canola farmers on a level-playing field against our competitors’ plant breeding regulatory frameworks. As a result, it will help to build Canada’s position as a global leader in innovation and support continued success of Canada’s canola sector. 

“Clear rules will reduce uncertainty for public and private plant breeders and provide predictability to encourage research, development and commercialization of new canola varieties,” explains Janelle Whitley, CCGA’s Senior Manager, Trade and Marketing Policy. “A pragmatic, science-based approach should encourage more investment and better position canola farmers in the face of climate change and a rapidly evolving food landscape.” 

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