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Squash

Market Status

A few varieties of genetically modified (GM or genetically engineered) virus-resistant squash are grown in the US (in total, 1000 hectares). Monsanto (via its subsidiary Seminis) sells some GM yellow straightneck, yellow crookneck and green zucchini squash seeds for planting in the US. They are not grown in Canada but can be imported as food.

Not grown in Canada” is how the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) describes the regulatory status for growing the GM squash. What does “not grown in Canada” mean? Was the GM squash denied approval in Canada? Did the company not request approval in Canada? The CFIA “can neither confirm or deny whether the CFIA received applications for the assessment of specific products, as this is confidential business information of the developer.” Click here to read the CFIA’s response to CBAN.

Click here to see pictures of the types of GM squash in Monsanto’s US seed catalogue (Note: unlike most seed catalogues that do not indicate which varieties are GM, this particular catalogue marks the GM seed with a “B”)

There are two virus-resistant GM traits approved for use in squash for human consumption in Canada but this squash is not grown in Canada. Click here to see this information from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Monsanto’s (Seminis) 2017 Technology Use Guide – Squash states:

  • “Biotech virus resistant squash seed is approved for planting and growing in the United States, and produce grown from the seed is approved for sale and consumption in the United States and Canada.
  • Importation and planting of biotech squash seed is not permitted to/in Canada.
  • Excluding the approvals listed above, no additional import or planting has been approved in any other country. It is a violation of national and international laws to move biotech seeds, plants and produce into nations where import is not permitted”