In 2015, CBAN embarked on a major investigation of the impacts and risks of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) after twenty years in Canada. Our GMO Inquiry reports are all accompanied by summary pamphlets that you can also download. Find them below or visit the GMO Inquiry project website.
January 29, 2024. Canada and the US are using the Canada-US-Mexico trade agreement (CUSMA) to challenge Mexico’s new ban on genetically engineered (genetically modified or GM) corn. Canada does not export any corn to Mexico, but the Government of Canada is participating in a trade dispute to force open the Mexican market.
September 2022. The global release of genetically engineered trees is closer than it has ever been. Due to changes in national regulations, this report may be the last opportunity to get a snapshot of GE tree field testing around the world.
April 2022. Health Canada and the CFIA are proposing to remove government regulation for many new GMOs produced using the new genetic engineering techniques of genome editing (also called gene editing). If allowed to move forward, these changes would result in a profound lack of transparency on genetically engineered foods and seeds for Canadians.
Unintended effects caused by techniques of new genetic engineering create a new quality of hazards and risk
March 24, 2022. A report from Testbiotech (Germany) and the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN) discusses the scientific literature that shows the basic differences between plant breeding and genetic engineering, and argues that these differences need to be considered in regulation.
November 30, 2021. This GMO Review is a snapshot of the most up-to-date information on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in Canada. Follow the links on each page for more in-depth information on that topic and to take action.
December 2020. This report provides information to Canadians about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) on the market and, in particular, the status of whole GM foods – fruits, vegetables, and fish – in Canada’s largest grocery chains. The report ranks Canada’s major grocery chains for their transparency about sales of genetically modified fruits and vegetables, and the GM salmon.
July 2020. The report provides an overview of the new genetic engineering techniques of genome editing that are being explored in agriculture, and the range of risks and potential unexpected consequences that can arise from them. The purpose of our report is to support public discussions about the possible implications of using genetic engineering in food and farming.
November 2019: This report is a comprehensive examination of “Golden Rice”, so named because it has been genetically modified to produce betacarotene, which the body can convert into vitamin A. Golden Rice is being promoted as a solution to the serious problem of vitamin A deficiency (VAD) in countries such as the Philippines and Bangladesh but it is not yet ready for farmers to grow or for people to eat, its beta carotene levels are low, it does not store well, and we still do not know whether it helps fight VAD. Golden Rice is expensive, unnecessary, and does not address the real problem.
GM Contamination in Canada: The failure to contain living modified organisms – Incidents and impacts
March 26, 2019. This report documents in one place, for the first time, GM escape and contamination incidents that have occurred in Canada. These experiences provide lessons that need to be evaluated and understood before any more genetically modified organisms are released.
This sixth and final report of our GMO Inquiry examines the question “Do we need GM crops to feed the world?” We conclude that, while the argument that this technology can solve the problem of world hunger, or be a tool towards ending hunger, is compelling, it is in fact false. The report includes information from the five other reports of the GMO Inquiry, published over the course of 2015. The research in this report begins to look ahead to understand what role – if any – GM crops and foods should play in the future of our food and farming systems.
This report examines how deeply untransparent Canada’s regulation of GMOs, even today. Despite twenty years of critique, Canada’s safety assessment of genetically modified (GM) foods, crops and animals is still a closed-door process that is based on information provided by industry – information that is kept confidential and not disclosed to the public or independent scientists.
This report in the GMO Inquiry investigates the impacts of genetically modified crops on farmers in Canada. Have GM crops benefited farmers? Have they increased yields and farm incomes? What are the costs of herbicide-resistant weeds and GM contamination for farmers?
This third report in the GMO Inquiry examines the question of benefits for the “consumer” and examines the state of the scientific literature on human health safety questions. The report also discusses the answer to the question Why aren’t they labeled? Genetically modified foods were allowed onto grocery store shelves in Canada without labels, without meaningful public debate, without government testing, and without long-term animal feeding studies.
In this second report of the GMO Inquiry 2015, we investigate the impacts and risks of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) on our environment. Genetically modified crops have been a 20-year open-air experiment in Canada. What are the consequences?
In this first report of the GMO Inquiry 2015, we show what genetically modified (GM) crops are grown in Canada and around the world, where they are being grown, how much of each one is being grown, and where they end up in our food system. The Canadian government does not track this information, but we have investigated. Industry promotional materials commonly depict genetically modified crops being grown widely around the world, but this is not entirely true. In reality, four crops – corn, soy, cotton and canola – account for 99% of global GM acres.
The Canadian Seed Trade Association’s so-called “Coexistence Plan” is a gateway to GM alfalfa contamination
This 2013 Commentary and Technical Paper from CBAN and the National Farmers Union critiques the Canadian Seed Trade Association’s “coexistence plan,” designed to pave the way for Monsanto and Forage Genetics International to release genetically engineered alfalfa in Eastern Canada. The Eastern Plan as well as a Western Plan have since been finalized and very small amounts of GM alfalfa were planted in Eastern Canada in 2016 for the first time, but this analysis remains highly relevant.
This 2013 report from CBAN presents a detailed overview of the many potential means by which GM alfalfa will contaminate non-GM alfalfa and hay crops, if it is released in Ontario. The biological characteristics of alfalfa conspire to present a particularly potent risk of gene escape.
2010. This report provides background on the GM “Enviropig” with discussion of utility and safety. The introduction of the Enviropig was halted in 2013.