Canada Grains Council Embraces New CFIA Guidance for Gene Edited Plants

(OTTAWA, ON – MAY 3, 2024) Today marks a significant milestone for Canada’s agricultural sector as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) unveils its latest livestock feed guidance, completing the trio of policy updates crucial for clarifying Canada’s requirements for gene-edited crops. This completes a process to enable innovation that began in 2018, when Canada’s seed and grain sectors called on Canadian regulators to clarify their policies for gene edited plants.

In response, Krista Thomas, Vice President Trade Policy, Seed Innovation, for the Canada Grains Council issued the following:

“This is a ground-breaking day for Canadian agriculture, as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency confirms its livestock feed guidance, marking the final piece in a series of vital policy updates that began in 2018. With this final piece in place, Health Canada and the CFIA have now answered longstanding calls from the seed and grain sectors for predictable, clear, and consistent policies for gene edited crops.

“We are pleased to see Canada maintaining a science-based and product-based regulatory approach. This means that gene-edited plants, which closely resemble traditionally-bred varieties, will be treated the same way—an approach many of our trading partners are also following. By aligning our policies with trading partners, we not only foster innovation but also ensure that Canadian farmers have access to the most advanced agricultural technologies available worldwide.

“This strategic move allows us to attract investments and bolster our agricultural exports, keeping Canadian agriculture at the forefront of global grain production.

“This news opens up incredible opportunities for innovation within the grain sector. We are particularly excited about crops that can better withstand environmental stresses such as drought and pests without compromising yield. This ability directly translates to stability in food supply and prices, which is crucial for both our economy and food security.

“In recent years, the grain sector has faced punishing drought conditions and we have too many examples of crop diseases that lack adequate control. Gene editing can help develop solutions faster and more efficiently than traditional plant breeding methods allow.”


For more information, please contact:

Sandra Filion
Vice President, Communications & Stakeholder Relations
Canada Grains Council
613-277-0109 |