A media story has been circulating that the National Research Council’s Plant Biotechnology Institute in Saskatoon plans to develop genetically modified wheat. The story is making the rounds and drawing fire from those opposed to genetic modification, but according to the top people at the National Research Council, the story is just plain wrong. They state unequivocally that GM wheat is not an objective for their wheat program. The NRC is working with Canadian wheat breeders from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the University’s Crop Development Centre and other public institutions to help them develop new varieties. The NRC provides technical support for the breeding programs but says that only technologies acceptable to the marketplace are used. The NRC also says that it will work closely with producers, breeders and the organizations involved in the registration and marketing of Canadian wheat to ensure varieties developed are consistent with market needs and priorities. GM wheat is highly contentious, but since we’re in the midst of a federal election campaign, the NRC can’t proactively communicate with the media. That’s why they haven’t fired out a news release to set the record straight.

I’m Kevin Hursh.

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