Outline of Protocol Development for sampling/testing CDN flaxseed/shipments to the EU (2009)

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Background information on genetically modified material found in Canadian flaxseed

excerpt from:The Canadian Grain Commission website


Protocol development

  • The Canadian Grain Commission and the Flax Council of Canada, along with other Canadian government departments and agencies, developed a protocol for sampling and testing Canadian flaxseed shipments to the European Union.
  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency were involved in the development of the protocol.
  • The objective of the protocol is to help the Canadian flaxseed industry meet the European Union’s strict import requirements, which include a zero tolerance for unapproved genetically modified material.
  • The protocol was submitted to European officials the week of October 19, 2009. Canadian Grain Commission officials traveled to Brussels, to explain the Canadian grain handling and quality assurance systems and answer questions on aspects of the protocol.
  • The European Commission recommended to individual European Union Member States that the protocol be accepted. The European Commission expressed its satisfaction with the protocol on October 29, 2009. At present, the imposition of emergency measures by individual Member States in the European Union has been avoided.
  • The acceptance of the protocol is only the first step in resuming Canadian flaxseed shipments to the European Union. Many details concerning the implementation of the protocol are currently in development.


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