Regulation of Genome Editing in Plant Biotechnology: Canada



Gene editing technologies are the latest to emerge from the broader field of agricultural biotechnology. Canada’s science-based regulatory system was adapted for genetically modified (GM) crops in the early 1990s and has proven sufficiently robust in responding to these new plant breeding techniques, having approved two varieties of gene edited canola. Canada does not have a mandatory labelling system and the products from these crops will have seamlessly entered the food supply system in Canada.

A 2017 industry organized workshop on the future of plant breeding regulations in Canada, acknowledged the excellence of Canada’s regulatory system for GM crops. However, it was noted that Canada cannot afford to be complacent when it comes to regulatory competitiveness as multinational technology development firms are making investment decisions based on regulatory efficiency. To ensure that Canada’s regulatory framework remains efficient, a two-tiered regulatory system has been suggested as a means of leveraging the 25 years of experience and knowledge gained through the safe regulation of GM crops. To date, no regulatory changes to move in this direction have been implemented by Canadian regulatory agencies.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Agricultural and Resource EconomicsUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada

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