Did Canadian geese spread GM seed?

decrease font size  Resize text   increase font size       Printer-friendly version of this article Printer-friendly version of this article

The recent find of genetically modified wheat in a field in Oregon has stirred up another GM wheat controversy, only this time it’s in Canada.

Canadian officials are debating whether Canadian geese helped spread viable seeds of genetically modified wheat in Canada that were being grown on an experiment farm in August 2012.  

Agriculture Canada released documents in late July showing Canada geese as possible culprits in spreading the seeds that had been growing at the Central Experimental Farm. The experimental wheat variety is designed to resist fusarium and contained a collection of genetic material called GLK1. This GM wheat is not the same wheat as the GM wheat found in Oregon this spring, which was a glyphosate-resistant variety being tested by Monsanto.

It had been reported that the geese ate the experimental wheat last summer. Canadian agricultural officials exchanged e-mails last August when the news was released and denied that geese were responsible for spreading any GM wheat seeds.

The Ottawa Citizen recently reported it had obtained internal e-mails showing the rush by federal bureaucrats to find out whether the GM seeds had spread to other farms via the geese.

Since Canada does not grow any approved GM wheat, the news last August was alarming and threatened to jeopardize the country’s wheat trade. In light of what happened this spring with Monsanto’s GM wheat and the subsequent halt of some international purchases of wheat, it appears Canada’s fears are not unfounded.

The e-mails show that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) had to quickly determine whether GM wheat seeds “will survive in goose ‘poop’.” The next week, CFIA issued a list of “talking points” to make the problem look minor if the public found out, the Ottawa Citizen reported.

An Agriculture Canada spokesperson confirmed this week that the wheat was an experimental variety designed to resist fungus and said, “the latest research indicates that there is minimal risk of dispersal of viable seeds through Canada geese droppings. Additionally, since the seeds were a spring wheat cultivar, even if the seeds were to survive a goose’s digestive system, they would be killed by winter frost,” it was reported.

Buyers Guide

Doyle Equipment Manufacturing Co.
Doyle Equipment Manufacturing prides themselves as being “The King of the Rotary’s” with their Direct Drive Rotary Blend Systems. With numerous setup possibilities and sizes, ranging from a  more...
A.J. Sackett Sons & Company
Sackett Blend Towers feature the H.I.M, High Intensity Mixer, the next generation of blending and coating technology which supports Precision Fertilizer Blending®. Its unique design allows  more...
R&R Manufacturing Inc.
The R&R Minuteman Blend System is the original proven performer. Fast, precise blending with a compact foot print. Significantly lower horsepower requirement. Low inload height with large  more...
Junge Control Inc.
Junge Control Inc. creates state-of-the-art product blending and measuring solutions that allow you to totally maximize operating efficiency with amazing accuracy and repeatability, superior  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The flagship blending system for the Layco product line is the fully automated Layco DW System™. The advanced technology of the Layco DW (Declining Weight) system results in a blending  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The LAYCOTE™ Automated Coating System provides a new level of coating accuracy for a stand-alone coating system or for coating (impregnating) in an automated blending system. The unique  more...
John Deere
The DN345 Drawn Dry Spreader can carry more than 12 tons of fertilizer and 17.5 tons of lime. Designed to operate at field speeds up to 20 MPH with full loads and the G4 spreader uniformly  more...
Force Unlimited
The Pro-Force is a multi-purpose spreader with a wider apron and steeper sides. Our Pro-Force has the most aggressive 30” spinner on the market, and is capable of spreading higher rates of  more...
BBI Spreaders
MagnaSpread 2 & MagnaSpread 3 — With BBI’s patented multi-bin technology, these spreaders operate multiple hoppers guided by independent, variable-rate technology. These models are built on  more...

Comments (0) Leave a comment 

e-Mail (required)


characters left

Blend and Bulk Tower Systems

Waconia Towers provide speed, efficiency and reliability that only gravity-fed systems can offer. Towers are available with up to 300 ... Read More

View all Products in this segment

View All Buyers Guides

Feedback Form
Feedback Form