A middle aged, male, scientist taking a close look at his plants

The Many Players Behind Plant Biotechnology Safety

Who uses plant biotechnology?

The decision of whether or not to use products of plant biotechnology is a choice individual farmers make for their businesses. Farmers who are certified organic do not use any products of plant biotechnology.

Who monitors the safety of plant biotechnology products?

Government organizations such as Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency are dedicated to assessing products of biotechnology to ensure the health and safety of Canadians.87 Research requirements are strictly regulated and studies are conducted in specific testing environments. In almost 20 years of assessment, Health Canada has never found any health risks associated with the consumption of biotechnology products. A list of all assessed products is available on the Health Canada website.88 Members of the agriculture community and biotechnology companies also evaluate aspects of biotechnology. The first genetically engineered crops under went over 10 years of laboratory and field testing before they were made available to the public in 1996.89 Any new biotech plant product still takes up to 10 years and $150 million for research, development and registration.90

Career Connection

Many career opportunities exist in the biotechnology field: laboratory research, field trial monitoring, marketing, developing policy related to biotechnology and more.