GFM Network News


A veterinarian with Alberta Agriculture says that any person raising pigs should be registered with Alberta Pork’s Swine Traceability system.

Everyone needs to be on traceability system

Even if you have just one pig, you should be registered with Premises Identification

If you raise pigs — whether in a commercial setting, on a natural or organic operation or in the backyard — get a Premises Identification. “During the outbreak, we used it for tracing, and we used it for notifying farms in the risk area,” said Dr. Julia Keenliside, veterinary epidemiologist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. […] Read more

The country’s “robust” BSE surveillance efforts are paying dividends, says the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association.

Stage set for upgrading Canada’s BSE status

Surveillance has highest numbers in five years, country eligible to apply for ‘negligible risk’ status

Canada’s BSE surveillance effort saw the highest number of tests in five years, setting the stage for an application to have its risk status for bovine spongiform encephalopathy upgraded to “negligible.” There were 30,949 samples, mostly submitted by deadstock collection operators, tested in 2018, the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association said in its e-newsletter. None tested positive […] Read more


Canadian plant approval process lengthy but worthwhile

In Canada, plant varieties with traits that are new to the environment and have the potential to impact human and environmental health are called “novel traits” and are regulated by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. They must be approved by the CFIA as well as Health Canada (in the case of food products) prior to […] Read more

The two proposed seed royalty models have come with many questions from producers.

Cereal seed royalty gets thumbs down at consultations

Government is asking farmers what they think about seed royalties — and the answer is ‘not much’

The idea of charging royalties on cereal seed didn’t go over well with many Alberta farmers who attended a federal government consultation on proposed royalties. “The overarching thing is that control would be imposed and that would be my concern,” Trochu farmer Kevin Niemi said in an interview. “A royalty is like a seed tax […] Read more


There’s a learning curve with new rules on medication

Now is the time to get up to speed on the ins and outs of the regulations on medicated feed and additives

Changes to Health Canada’s policy on medically important antimicrobials, which came into effect Dec. 1, include those medications administered in water and in feed. This change is in response to antimicrobial resistance and the assurance of a safe food supply. It will also, I feel, be a positive step to further assure accuracy in milled […] Read more



Japan halted purchases of Canadian wheat after a few “rogue” genetically modified wheat plants were found along a remote access road in southern Alberta.

Japan resumes Canadian wheat purchases

Quick response by government and industry credited for quick resumption in sales to major wheat buyer

Japan has resumed purchases of Canadian wheat after testing found no genetically modified wheat in imports following the discovery of a few GM wheat plants in Alberta last summer. The decision “proves that Canada’s science-based regulatory system works,” said the general manager of the Alberta Wheat Commission. “Not only does Canada’s grain-handling system employ some […] Read more

New case of equine infectious anemia

A new case of equine infectious anemia has been detected by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency in Ponoka County, the office of the Chief Provincial Veterinarian reported in early July. One case involving one horse in Clearwater County was confirmed in April and another case, also one horse, in Strathcona County in February. Another case […] Read more


Adult beetles have a distinctive metallic green sheen.

Deadly pest marching towards Alberta’s borders

The emerald ash borer has travelled halfway across the continent and has now reached Manitoba

Another highly destructive invasive pest has breached the boundary of the eastern Prairies and Albertans are being asked to keep watch — and not unwittingly aid its spread. The emerald ash borer, which attacks and kills all species of ash, was found in Winnipeg this winter. The beetle is on a steady invasive march across […] Read more

Unapproved glyphosate-resistant wheat found in Alberta

UPDATED, June 14, 2018, 6:55 p.m. — Genetically modified (GM) wheat — which hasn’t been approved for commercial production in Canada — has been discovered in southern Alberta, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has confirmed. The wheat of unknown origin contains a genetic modification making it resistant to a common herbicide, CFIA told reporters Thursday. […] Read more