Biotech Updates

Canada's Guidelines on Gene Editing to Advance Innovation

September 14, 2022

After a long process of public consultation and data review, Health Canada announced that gene-edited crops are safe, and will not be required to undergo pre-market safety assessment in most cases.

This decision means that crop science companies are no longer required to conduct costly and time-consuming trials to prove that the gene-edited crop is safe for humans and the environment. The move also provided clarity for public and private sector researchers working to bring improved crops using new breeding techniques.

“These changes will go a long way to incentivize and grow Canadian-based research. Plant breeders have been hesitant to work on products that might provide nutritional, environmental or production benefits due to the lack of clarity in regulations, cost and time-consuming regulatory requirements. Health Canada's new guidance provides plant breeders with increased transparency. They now know which innovations will trigger these regulatory processes and have confidence their work will make it to farmers' fields,” said Erin Gowriluk, Executive Director of Grain Growers of Canada.

Read more from GrainsWest.

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