GMO-free news from Canada

10.06.2021 |

Consistent, accessible, and timely information is necessary to ensure transparency

Bioceres announced Canadian approval of its HB4 soy via a press release on June 1st. As of June 10, notice of approvals by Health Canada and the CFIA do not appear on the respective websites. This minimal information should be posted simultaneously with notification of approvals sent to product developers.

The company Bioceres is also interested in commercializing their HB4 technology in wheat. As you are aware, the commercialization of genetically engineered wheat is of great concern to many farmers, agri-food and civil society organizations, and members of the public. If government notification of approval decisions does not occur before or simultaneously with notification to product developers, it is possible that Canadian farmers and other members of the public could find out about a first Canadian approval of a genetically engineered wheat from a company such as Bioceres rather than from the government. Without information immediately available from the regulatory departments, there would be considerable confusion, mistrust and, potentially, market harm. This scenario highlights the need for reliable, timely public notifications.

In our view, providing notifications of regulatory decisions to product developers before notifying the public results in a lack of transparency and suggests that the departments consider this information to be less important for the public.