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New GE Rules in China Threaten Canada's Canola Exports

New GE Rules in China Threaten
Canada's Canola Exports

CHINESE RULES THREATEN LUCRATIVE CANOLA EXPORTS
February 12, 2002
Globe and Mail
Krista Foss

China's new restrictive regulations on genetically modified crops are,
according to this story, turning into a trade tempest that may leave
Canadian canola farmers without one of their most significant customers
next year.

The new regulations, which come into effect March 20, require that all
genetically modified crop traits be approved by China's Ministry of
Agriculture and also that every export shipment to China that contains a
genetically modified crop be issued a safety certificate. Approval times
for the new certificates could take as long as five to nine months.

The story says that in Canada, it's the annual canola exports of more than
$2-billion that stand to take the greatest hit, which is bad news for
farmers in Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba, the three largest producers
of the lucrative oilseed.

JoAnne Buth, vice-president of crop production for the Canola Council of
Canada, was quoted as saying, "There's concern that this is really just a
non-tarriff trade barrier . . . to protect Chinese producers."

Canadian trade officials say that China, which joined the World Trade
Organization last year, has failed to get WTO approval for the new
regulations and worse, the rules are vague and incomplete.

Mia Yen, a spokeswoman for the Department of Foreign Affairs, was quoted
as saying, "We have been working since last May, making high-level
representations to China and we've reminded them of their new
obligations to the WTO. They need to live up to their obligations."

Dave Parsons, a manager with grain-marketing giant Agricore, was quoted as
saying, "It could make a very big dent in business."

Nadege Adam, spokeswoman for the Council of Canadians, was cited as saying
that Canadian agribusiness should have anticipated a GM backlash, adding,
"This is the unfortunate consequence of Canadian farmers having to grow GM
food. The international market is closing its doors to it. I don't know
how many markets we're going to lose before Canada figures out that
customers don't want to eat GM products."


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