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Canadian Journal of Law and Technology

Abstract

The issue of Adventitious Presence (AP) of genes, those that are not “naturally” present in food and crops but rather have been placed there using recombinant deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) technology, has become a hot issue for producers and consumers. It can also be a major problem for exporters. Part of this problem is the reality that zero presence is now impossible to guarantee in some crops and products. Pressure has arisen to establish a Low Level Presence (LLP) threshold, one that is above zero, to be determined at an international level. This would allow crops to be imported and exported without the AP genes being approved in the importing country if they are approved in another country. The reality of biotechnological innovation in crops is that it is inevitable that there will be gene “flow” between varieties. This article examines the background of AP, the current state of policy and legislation, and why this has become contentious for producers, importers and exporters. This article examines the Canadian position towards AP as an illustration of a nation that produces many agricultural products based on genetically modified crops.

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