(Is there much more to this story than we are getting at present? Stay tuned....all media, except America's, seem to be covering this one: Reuters, Huffington Post, Russian Television, and others)
Japan slammed shut its import doors to Canadian wheat very recently after the discovery of a genetically modified (to be resistant to Roundup) trait in grain was discovered last summer in Alberta. "We are suspending the tender and sale of Canadian wheat until we confirm that the Canadian wheat that Japan buys contains no GMO," a Japanese farm ministry official said.
[from Stephen Fox: Somehow, all of this fol-de-rol and flummery seems to resemble some kind of dancing around the far more damaging facts, with the appearance that the involved officials are hoping that the real facts will continue to be concealed, so as to avert a gigantic international consumer protection backlash.
I am suspicious of any protective posturing of this particular branch of the Japanese government, especially coming from Japan, the home of the world's largest manufacturer of two deadly neurotoxic and carcinogenic food additives, MSG and Aspartame. After all, aspartame the sweetener, is manufactured from the feces of genetically modified E. coli, all of which the US FDA deems to be GRAS, or "Generally Recognized As Safe." However, at this writing, I will concede this: if Japan is raising its regulatory hackles in this instance, at least, they are doing the right thing with this kind of posturing, for the moment.
How long will it last and what will it mean to other nations? Is this just a vast market ploy* (see note at end of this article along these lines) to get better prices or to divert inferior wheat to Bangladesh and India?
Will anyone in Canada or anywhere else wake up to the underlying horror of spraying Roundup/Glyphosate throughout agriculture?
I doubt it. And be prepared for far worse emerging horror stories about agricultural poisons, GMOs, and officially sanctioned genocide, in all of the enlarging regulatory failures resulting from international governments giving carte blanche to the Monsanto/Bayer merger.]
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) said the wheat containing a genetically modified trait was developed by agrochemical corporation Monsanto to tolerate the weedkiller Roundup. While other crops such as corn and soybeans have been frequently genetically modified to improve yield, GMO wheat has not been approved anywhere for because of consumers' concerns.
The agency's director of the plant production division, David Bailey, stated in a press conference that the wheat has been destroyed and the CFIA will monitor the area for three years to verify that it does not become established.
"CFIA took the lead on inspection activities associated with this matter and has found no evidence to show that transgenic wheat is in commerce. On May 9, 2018, risk assessments examining potential implications of this wheat to food, animal feed and the environment were completed by Health Canada and CFIA. These risk assessments determined that this wheat does not pose any risk. There are no food, feed or environmental safety concerns associated with glyphosate tolerance in plants."
The CFIA said it was notified on Jan. 31 by the Alberta government about the plants surviving spray treatments. Southern Alberta county staff noticed the wheat did not die when sprayed with Roundup. The county sent samples to Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, who then forwarded the samples to the CFIA. "When the CFIA was notified of this finding, CFIA scientists conducted tests to determine why the wheat survived," the agency stated.
The CFIA recently completed testing on the plants, confirming that the wheat was herbicide-tolerant and genetically modified, something prohibited for commercial use in Canada! Alberta Economic Development and Trade Minister Deron Bilous said the grains were confirmed to be GMO in February, but several more months elapsed in determining the precise strain, as well as to do testing to see if any of it had made its way into the food market.
"We're very proud of our producers, our farmers, of the quality of product that we produce," Bilous said. He stressed there is no genetically modified wheat in the food market and (therefore?) no health risk. "We want to be able to reassure the world that Canada continues to produce the highest quality wheat, that's GMO-free and that's safe, " stating there were three similar incidents in the last five years in the U.S. in which GMO wheat was detected and blocked by Asian nations. He added they were all resolved in one to two months.
The province said the wheat was left over from an old test plot. The GMO wheat was used in several research field trials in the late 1990s and early 2000s in both Canada and the United States, a CFIA incident report stated. The wheat in question was found beside an oil and gas lease service road about 200 miles from Monsanto's trials. Jamie Curran, the assistant deputy minister for Alberta Agriculture and Forestry's Livestock and Crops Division, said such plots exist all over Saskatchewan, Alberta and B.C. "There are historical test plots from the eighties and nineties and throughout, that are for a number research purposes -- but this isolated incident was nowhere near a test plot," Curran said.