GM crops and foods NOT on the market in Canada
The following genetically modified (GM or genetically engineered) foods are not on the market in Canada as of October 2023:
- Apple – Marketed in the US in bags of sliced apples. It may have made a brief appearance in Canada but is not on the Canadian market in 2023.
- Flax – Canadian farmers suffered a GM flax contamination crisis in late 2009, despite the fact that GM flax has never been on the market.
- Potato – GM potatoes from the company Simplot are sold in the US but not yet in Canada.
- Rice – The genetically modified Vitamin-A “Golden Rice” is now grown in limited amounts in the Philippines, only for local consumption.
- Wheat – A newly approved GM wheat is grown in Argentina for the market in Argentina and Brazil. In 2004, Monsanto withdrew its applications for approval of GM herbicide-tolerant wheat in Canada and the US.
The federal government does not know what GMOs are on the market
The federal government does not track which GMOs are on the market. Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has a list of approved GM crops and foods – over 150 varieties of 15 types of food and crops under the broad categories they call “Novel Foods” and “Plants with Novel Traits” – but not all of these “novel” products listed are produced using genetic engineering. Additionally, many approved GM crop varieties are not currently on the market, and the government does not track this information. Some new gene edited seeds (those that have no foreign DNA) and foods from these GM plants are now exempt safety assessments which means that these GMOs will be released onto the market without any government approval process and no notification to the government or public.