27 September 1996

Canadas canola grown on closed loop terms

CANADA has no labelling requirements for the oil produced from Liberty Link canola. They are only needed if the product is substantially modified, and oil does not contain the gene.

"Genetically modified traits in canola to this point are agronomic. There are no changes in the product itself," says Dale Adolphe, president of the Canola Council of Canada.

Nevertheless, Liberty Link seed is grown on a "closed loop" contract, with growers having to grow on contract for crushers to ensure the crop does not find its way into the export chain. Neither Europe nor Japan had cleared the oil for use at the start of the season.

This month, Japan has given it the all-clear. Mr Adolphe believes that will spell the end of closed contracts.

Europe, which still has not given clearance, may have to pay for keeping non-modified crops separate soon, he believes. "Otherwise the Canadian industry may have to decide if they want Europe in the market."n

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Genetically modified canola has been grown on special contracts to keep it out of the export chain.