An analysis of efforts to improve genetically modified food regulation in Canada
Despite an ongoing trade dispute over genetically modified organisms (GMOs) between the European Union (EU) and the United States and Canada, in recent years there have been some signs that North American regulators are beginning to accept a more precautionary approach to the regulation of GMOs such as that adopted in the EU. One such sign was the Government of Canada's proactive response to a 2001 report written by a Royal Society of Canada (RSC) Expert Panel. This paper examines efforts to enhance Canada's regulatory regime for GMOs based on the RSC Panel's recommendations in order to ascertain whether the regulatory approach has really changed in that country since 2001. The author concludes that, while some efforts have indeed been made, the Government of Canada continues to fall far short of meeting the RSC Panel's expectations in key areas, including food safety, environmental assessment, peer review transparency, and monitoring and surveillance.