Quizalofop-tolerant rice - RTA1
In 2020, Health Canada received a submission to allow the sale of a rice line referred to as Quizalofop-tolerant rice – RTA1. This rice line has been genetically modified to exhibit tolerance to aryloxyphenoxypropionate (FOP) herbicides, such as Quizalofop (quizalofop-p-ethyl), used to control grass weeds. The herbicide tolerance is the result of a single change introduced into a rice gene, allowing this rice line to survive when treated with herbicides. In all other ways, RTA1 rice is identical to any other rice.
In order to determine whether this GM rice line could be sold in Canada as food, the scientists at Health Canada conducted a scientific assessment to establish that this variety is safe for consumption. Our scientists also needed to assess how this GM rice variety was developed and whether it had the potential to cause toxic or cause allergic reactions.
Scientists with expertise in molecular biology, microbiology, toxicology, chemistry, and nutrition conducted a thorough analysis of the data and the protocols provided by the applicant to ensure the validity of the results.
Following this assessment, it was determined that the changes made to RTA1 rice do not pose a greater risk to human health than rice varieties currently available on the Canadian market. In addition, Health Canada also concluded that this GM rice would have no impact on allergies, and that there are no differences in the nutritional value of this GM canola variety compared to other traditional canola varieties available for consumption.
Health Canada's assessment of RTA1 was conducted according to the Guidelines for the Safety Assessment of Novel Foods. The approach taken by Health Canada in the safety assessment of GM foods is based upon scientific principles developed through expert international consultation over the last 20 years with agencies such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The approach taken by Canada is currently applied by regulatory agencies around the world in countries such as the European Union, Australia/New Zealand, Japan, and the United States.
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