Re: [seed-saving] GE varieties in canola seedmeal used as
Peter Hoven (email@example.com)
Fri, 29 Jan 1999 09:29:34 -0700
> I just though jest-westers might be interested in some of the research I'm
> doing on GE canola.
> Canola seedmeal is derived from crushed canola and is a byproduct of the
> canola oil industry. It is often used as a fertilizer source by organic
> growers who are looking or alternatives to chemical fertilizers.
> Unfortunately, when canola is processed, the conventional and GE varieties
> are not separated.
> I've just gotten off the phone with a local supplier of canola seedmeal.
> He was speaking to his suppliers in Saskatchewan who now estimates that a
> whopping 30% of the canola being processed for oil is genetically
> engineered. In 1996, this figure was 5% and in 1997, it had climbed to
> 20%. His projection is that by the year 2000, 50% of all the canola grown
> in Canada will be genetically engineered. These varieties have
> glyphosate-resistant genese placed in them and farmers are getting higher
> yields and higher returns from these varieties.
> This is causing a great dilema for organic growers. Using canola seedmeal
> helps recycle a waste into an input. Now, however, using this byproduct
> can be seen as supporting the biotech industry, or at least turning a blind
> Unfortunately, there are few alternatives. Organic canola meal is in high
> demand among livestock farmers which drives the price way up. Flax
> seedmeal can be used but it doesn't have the same fertilizer qualities and
> is much "oilier" and difficult to handle.
I think that many consumers are using organic products for the simple reason to avoid
GE material. I don't think using GE canola in any form on an organic farm is
acceptable. I personally would be concerned about certification if I was using it.
Eckville, Alberta, Canada
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