Japan has completed its review and is satisfied that genetically modified (GM) wheat did not make its way into Canada’s grain handling system.
The import suspension was put in place on June 15, soon after the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) confirmed that fewer than 10 GM wheat plants were found growing along an oil well access road in southern Alberta last summer.
It is not known how the GM wheat made it to that location. Genetically modified wheat has not been authorized for commercial growth in any country, including Canada.
The five week suspension created issues for Canadian wheat producers and grain companies.
“There have been delays in shipments and that always costs money,” says Cam Dahl, president of Cereals Canada. “There is also the concern of damage to reputation. I think that is something we have addressed through the good work of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Canadian Grain Commission. Their investigation was very thorough, complete and scientifically sound. I’m confident we can put this issue behind us and move forward.”
Japan buys between 1.5 and 1.7 million metric tonnes of Canadian wheat annually.
South Korea also imposed a ban on Canadian wheat imports, but it only lasted about a week.