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Canada Looks to Secure Trade

23 March 2012, at 9:47am

CANADA - This week, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz spoke at an international meeting of industry and government officials working to make sure consumers have more dependable access to food and that farmers have predictable, science-based trade.

"The economy remains the Government of Canada's top priority, which is why we're working to strengthen our trade partnerships around the world," said Minister Ritz. "By making sure that trade is based on sound science and pragmatic regulations, we will help make sure food can get to where it's needed and that our hard-working farmers can continue to feed the world."

This meeting builds on Minister Ritz's commitment, at the Cairns Group Ministerial Meeting in September 2011, that Canada would facilitate discussions with the international community on the effective management of unintended low-level presence (LLP) of genetically modified materials in agricultural imports.

The meeting is an important first step toward developing an international solution to the global issue of managing LLP in international trade. While delivering opening remarks at the meeting, Minister Ritz underscored the importance of a regulatory approach that keeps pace with agricultural innovation.

"As the world's population grows, Canada is poised to play a key role in meeting the global demand for food," said Minister Ritz. "Innovation and science are evolving rapidly, and we need to ensure our policies evolve as well, and that we adhere to a science-based approach to trade."

This meeting included Canadian and international government officials as well as industry representatives from Canada and around the world.

Countries represented at this meeting included: the US, Mexico, Costa Rica, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay (co-chair of Vancouver international meeting), Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, Russia, Viet Nam, Indonesia, the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand.