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Plant: Canadian canola still banned from Europe despite WTO ruling






PART 1


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TITLE:  CANADIAN CANOLA STILL BANNED FROM EUROPE DESPITE WTO RULING

SOURCE: Centre for Energy,

URL:    https://centerforenergy.net/displayNewsArticle.asp?NewsID=9692960&template=0,0

DATE:   24.11.2006

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CANADIAN CANOLA STILL BANNED FROM EUROPE DESPITE WTO RULING

Genetically Modified (GM) canola from Canada remains banned from the European Union (EU) despite a recent ruling from the World Trade Organization (WTO) that EU policy on this issue was unjustified, according to industry sources.

"Nothing has changed," Diane Wreford, Assistant Vice-President, Public Affairs for the Canola Council of Canada (CCC) said. "There has been no victory."

She said that what the WTO did rule is that the EU was unjustified in blocking GM canola imports from 1999 and 2003.

"So what the EU is essentially accepting is that they used improper procedures during that time frame to stop GM canola imports, but now have corrected those procedures," Wreford said.

She said the Canadian Government's reaction earlier this week also left the impression that the EU market would now be open to GM canola.

"This is incorrect, as each GM canola event (variety) must still be approved by the EU before the commodity can be imported," Wreford said.

The Canola Council is working closely with Bayer CropScience and Monsanto to ensure that the EU continues to adhere to its approval process and deadlines, a statement from the CCC to its members on this issue, said.

"It is difficult to predict when all the approvals will be in place, but we are hoping that this will occur sometime in 2007," the statement read.

Canadian canola has not directly moved to any EU member country since March of 1998, when a small test sample was allowed in, an export source said. "Their decision to block Canadian canola remains tied to the bio-tech issue and is solely based on politics rather than science."

The export source said from a scientific standpoint, even the EU's own people can not find any reason to keep genetically modified canola from entering their system.

A second exporter commented that if the EU does eventually accept GM canola imports, all it will do is adjust where the canola is first being shipped to.

"Right now countries like Dubaii and Turkey are importing Canadian canola, processing the seed and reshipping the finished oil back to Europe for the biodiesel sector," the exporter said.

The EU's limited canola crush capacity and ever increasing biodiesel demand could, however, mean that processed canola oil will still need to be imported from those countries, the exporter acknowledged.


PART 2


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TITLE:  TRADE RULING ON GM FOODS SHOULD HELP CANADIAN FARMERS

SOURCE: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Canada

URL:    http://www.cbc.ca/canada/manitoba/story/2006/11/24/genetic-wto.html

DATE:   25.11.2006

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TRADE RULING ON GM FOODS SHOULD HELP CANADIAN FARMERS

The Canadian government says farmers stand to make big gains from a trade ruling that opens European markets to genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

A World Trade Organization panel ruled this week that the European Union (EU) moratorium on biotechnology products between June 1999 to August 2003 was illegal under trade rules.

Canola, seen here in a field outside Winnipeg, should find new markets in the European Union after a WTO ruling cleared the way for imports of genetically modified crops.

(Gregory Bull/Associated Press)

"This ruling will enable Canadian producers to access European markets and effectively market their products," International Trade Minister David Emerson said in a release.

The government said European demand for oilseeds, such as canola, is growing because the EU is promoting green fuels such as biodiesel, which is made from methyl esters extracted from crops like canola.

While the government did not have an immediate assessment of the impact of the ruling, Emerson's press secretary, Jennifer Chiu, said exports of one modified crop provide an indication of the impact of the ban.

In 1994, before the ban, Canada exported $425 million of canola to the European Union. After the ban was imposed, exports fell to $1.5 million.

The EU said it won't appeal the decision. That may be because it wants oilseeds for biodiesel, or because it argues that it changed its policy in 2004, when it allowed modified U.S. canned corn to be sold.

"As a result, most of the findings of the panel have become theoretical," EU trade negotiator Raimund Raith told the Associated Press. "There's no basis for claiming that the [EU] is maintaining the moratorium."

The EU initially imposed the ban because of fears about the impact of GMOs on people and the environment.

Canada, the U.S. and Argentina fought the move at the WTO, arguing that there was no scientific evidence to stop GMO imports.

Biodiesel is made through a chemical process called transesterification, which separates vegetable oil into methyl esters and glycerin, itself a useful product. Biodiesel, which burns more cleanly than petroleum products, can be used as a fuel by itself, or added to petroleum products.

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