Prospects appear to be brightening for a resolution of the GM flax issue in Europe. A protocol has been developed by the Canadian government in consultation with the Flax Council of Canada and the European regulatory agency known as DG Sanco. According to the Flax Council, the protocol describes a system of sampling, testing and documentation related to the presence of the GM flax variety CDC Triffid in shipments of Canadian flax to Europe. The protocol is designed to satisfy the EU zero tolerance policy for unauthorized GMOs – in other words, no detection at a 0.01 per cent level 19 times out of 20. DG Sanco has given EU member states time to discuss the protocol. A decision is expected the week of October 26. The Flax Council says that even if the protocol is accepted, considerable work will need to be done to develop the necessary sampling and testing capacity. Some European crushers would like to see flax exports from Canada resume before the close of navigation on the St. Lawrence Seaway, but this isn’t likely. Still the issue appears to be heading towards a successful resolution. I’m Kevin Hursh.