ROXY® rice expressing an oxyfluorfen herbicide tolerance characteristic

In 2021, Health Canada received a submission to allow the sale of food derived from a novel rice variety referred to as ROXY®rice. This rice variety has been genetically modified to exhibit tolerance to oxyfluorfen herbicide.

In order to determine whether this rice variety developed through chemical mutagenesis and conventional breeding could be sold in Canada as food, the scientists at Health Canada conducted a scientific assessment that ensured that it is safe for consumption. Our scientists also assessed how this rice variety was developed, produced and whether it can be 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 this novel rice variety 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 rice variety would have no impact on allergies, and that there are no differences in the nutritional value of this rice variety compared to other traditional rice varieties available for consumption.

Health Canada's assessment of ROXY®rice was conducted according to the Guidelines for the Safety Assessment of Novel Foods. The approach taken by Health Canada in the safety assessment of novel 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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