Genetic engineering


The current situation in Canada.


CFIA, Seeds Act, etc

Animals and veterinary biologicals


  • Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999
  • New Substances Notification Regulations for aquatic organisms with novel traits


Main criticisms of genetic engineering
The current regulatory approach

Under the Patent Act, breeders cannot patent a whole plant or plants bred through traditional breeding but can patent types of processes and gene sequences (Bauta, 2014). These plants are usually referred to as genetically engineered (GE), genetically modified (GM) crops, or “plants with novel traits”. “Plants with novel traits”, according to CFIA, is a plant that contains a trait which is both new to the Canadian environment and has the potential to affect the specific use and safety of the plant with respect to the environment and human health. These traits can be introduced using biotechnology, mutagenesis, or conventional breeding techniques. Patents are reviewed and distributed by Health Canada and CFIA, a process separate from the Seeds Act’s variety registration and pedigreed seed certification. Once a patent is granted patent-holders can control their patents through technology use agreements (TUAs), which farmers are required to sign before they are able to purchase patented GE/GM seed.

Gura, 2007 cloning and marker assisted breeding in animals