Statement of the U.S. Canola Association Regarding FDA’s April 13, 2021 Advice to Companies Regarding Inadvertent Presence of Low Levels of Certain Genetically Engineered Canola Seeds
The U.S. Canola Association (USCA) – a non-profit representing the entire canola industry, including canola growers, seed companies, processors and traders – was recently notified by BASF Agricultural Solutions (BASF) and Nuseed about the inadvertent presence of low levels of genetic material from their respective omega-3 canola varieties in limited commercial canola fields and hybrid seed production. These varieties produce long-chain omega-3 fatty acids for use in aquaculture and human foods.
In letters to both companies dated April 9, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that based on data the companies previously submitted, it has no concern about the specialty canola varieties causing allergic reactions or harm to people or animals or altering the fatty acid profile of commercial canola oil. The USCA supports the FDA’s assessment to date about the safety of these new varieties, especially when inadvertently present at low levels in the human and animal food supplies. We are confident that the FDA will reach a favorable conclusion to its food safety consultations on these new canola varieties.
Both varieties have been approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for cultivation in the United States and they are grown in closed-loop systems to maintain seed purity. In addition, this identity preservation supports co-existence with commercial canola production.
Based on these developments, the USCA has set up a committee to address the co-existence of novel canola traits with commercial production.