Coexistence of organic and GM crops: Should the “zero

Report
Coexistence of organic and GM crops:
Should the “zero tolerance” policy on presence of
GM material in organic crops be changed?
Sanja Ilic, Valeria C. Netto, Mehrnaz Roudsari,
Majid Hassas Roudsari
Arrow pic
We’ll talk about…
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Concept of Coexistence
Canadian Organic Standard
Consumers’ Choice
Market Demand
Future Developments
Sources of Problem
How to Reduce The Risk
Standards in Other Countries
Discussion & Recommendations
The Concept
Coexistence generally refers to the ability of
farmers to make a practical choice between
conventional, organic and GM-crop production,
in compliance with the legal obligations for
labelling and/or purity standards.
Coexistence
Economic, Environmental & Health Aspect
Can be addressed through
• Regulation: legal implication
• Mutual consent and respect: attitudes changes
Stakeholders
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Biotech Industry
Regulatory Agencies
Producers
Grain Handlers
Food Manufacturers
Consumers
We’re talking about…
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Concept of Coexistence
Canadian Organic Standard
Consumers’ Choice
Market Demand
Future Developments
Sources of Problem
How to Reduce The Risk
Standards in Other Countries
Discussion & Recommendations
Organic Standard
for Presence of GMOs
What does it say?
“Organic agricultural foods, and their ingredients, additives and processing
aids, are produced, processed, manufactured and handled in accordance with
the principles of the organic system of production and processing.
Genetically engineered and/or modified organisms (GEO/GMO),
or their products, are not compatible with the principles of organic
production and are prohibited from use in any aspect of organic production,
processing or manufacturing. Furthermore, the use of ionizing radiation on
organic food products (i.e. food irradiation) or their inputs is not compatible
with the principles of organic processing and is prohibited.”
CAN/CGSB-32.310-99
“Plant varieties, seed, seed inoculants, germ plasm, scions, rootstocks or
other propagules developed through the use or incorporation of
genetically engineered and/or modified organisms (GEO/GMO),
or related technology, are prohibited from use under this standard.”
Why is it important to create an
environment that will encourage both
organic and biotech agricultural modes?
• Consumers’ Choice
• Market Demand
• Future Developments
Consumers
• increased awareness: food for health
improvement, family nutrition, weight
control, environmental concern
• What do consumers understand “organic”
to mean?
“Pesticide free”
“GMO free”
Consumers
• Want zero tolerance?
• Would organic producers loose good
marketing tool allowing limited presence of
GMO?
What makes the world go ‘round?
Ag Biotech Market in North America
Pic from Van…slide
Increased 18% in 2003 (Ernst & Young 2004)
What makes the world go ‘round?
Organic Market
• 20% growth in
2003
• Total sales
$10.8 billion
ORGANIC FOOD SALES – 2003
Source: Organic Trade Association
Year
Organic Food
Sales
(USD Million)
% Chg. Vs.
Prior Yr.
2003
$ 10,381
20.4%
2002
$ 8,624
17.2%
2001
$ 7,359
20.6%
2000
$ 6,104
21.0%
1999
$ 5,043
18.1%
1998
$ 4,272
19.8 %
1997
$ 3,566
N/A
Organic Market
Organic production in Canada makes for about 1-1.5% of
total agricultural product and 2% in US
SALES BY COMODITY – 2003
Source: Organic Trade Association
Year
2003 Sales
(USD Million)
% Chg. Vs.
Prior Yr.
Bread & Grains
$ 966
22.9%
Snack Food
$ 484
29.6%
Future Biodevelopment
• Biopharmaceuticals
drugs whose active pharmaceutical ingredient is a complex molecule
produced, from DNA, by genetically transformed living factories.
• Biopharming
experimental application of biotechnology in which plants are genetically
engineered to produce pharmaceutical proteins and chemicals.
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Contraceptives, growth hormones, industrial enzymes, and vaccines could
be produced in this way.
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Corn is by far the most popular biopharm plant, followed by soya beans,
tobacco and rice.
Input from Dr. Sparling
It is essential to have regulations in place
because of potential important markets such
as biopharmaceuticals.
Interview
“…we’ll get some pharmaceutical and industrial
products, then we will really need to be able to
trace because …to separate (them) from the
food chain…”
StarLinkTM Case
• StarLinkTM: GM maize hybrid containing Cry9c protein from Bacillus
thurginesis
• Potential human allergen
• Approved for use only in animal feed
• 2000 found in the food chain
• US government decided no longer to permit split registrations
• Genetic contamination can effect GMO, Non GMO, and organic crop
• StarLinkTM: never received Health Canada nor CFIA’s approval for use
as livestock feed or for confined or unconfined environmental
release as seed
Mission Impossible?
Prospects of Contamination
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Purchased of home-saved
seeds contaminated with
GM material
Cross-pollination from
neighboring GM crop.
Volunteer seeds from
previously grown GM
crop.
GM crop pollinated wild
plants, which in turn get
to organic crop.
Mission Impossible?
Managing The Risk
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physical distances, natural and man made
barriers
differences in flowering time
Case-specific
Mission Impossible?
Managing The Risk
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mechanical mixing
of crops during the
production process
residues in
equipment during
planting &
harvesting, at the
grain
storage and
transportation
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equipment for
segregation
handling systems
modifications identity
preservation needs.
Identity Preservation
System
Identity Preservation
• System of production, handling and marketing practices to maintain
the integrity and purity of agricultural commodity; to channel
varieties with unique quality traits (organic) in order to capture the
added value.
• standards, records, and auditing throughout the production process
Mission Impossible?
Identity Preservation
Seed
purity of the seed stock must equal
or exceed the purity standards of
the final product
zero tolerance rule for final product)
Seed 100% pure from GM
contaminants
virtually impossible to achieve
from start
The IP process scheme
Economics
• A direct correlation between increased product purity
requirements and higher IP costs.
• burden of maintaining purity falls entirely on the producer
and marketer of organic crops
• IP leads to increased cost of end organic product &
higher farm profitability
Higher cost acceptance by consumers?
Enough for everyone to share?
Policies in Other Countries
• USA: just changed zero tolerance
• Europe has set thresholds for presence of
GM material in non-GM food at 0.5%
Non-GM labeling thresholds in other countries
Country
Status of labeling
Adventitious
Presence
threshold
Notes
Argentina
None required
No specific figure
No coexistence arrangements
Australia
Mandatory
1%
Cotton is the only GM plant
cultivated commercially in
Australia to date.
Brazil
Mandatory
4%
GMOs banned but with recent
one season waive on ban;
However illegal import of seed
has already led to growing GM
crops in parts of the country.
Japan
Mandatory (selected
products)
5%
24 products so far identified
from maize and soya beans
Discussion
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Can adventitious presence of GM crops in organic or conventional crops be
reduced below certain policy-relevant thresholds with changed farming
practices?
Strengths & Weaknesses
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Should zero tolerance policy be changed?
Strengths & Weaknesses
SWOT ANALYSIS
STRENGHTS
• Minimizes the risk of
contamination with GM
• Helps differentiate and market
organic crops
• Facilitates traceability for
trace-back food safety quality
control
• Improves side-management
• Raises the profitability
• Increases consumers’ trust
WEAKNESSES
• Increases the cost of
production
• Must be developed case-bycase
• Cannot prevent contamination
completely
• Requires professional expertise
DISCUSSION
Should zero tolerance policy be changed?
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YES
SO WHY ?
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NO
SO WHY ?
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Interview with Shane Morris
National Biotechnology Operations Coordinator
NABC 16
June 16, 2004

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