Preventing treated seed contamination begins on the farm
WINNIPEG, July 31, 2012 /CNW/ - It is not uncommon during this time of year for Canadian Grain Commission inspectors at grain terminals to occasionally find some grain deliveries contaminated with treated seed. To prevent contamination, the Canadian Grain Commission asks producers to take precautions at seeding and harvest.
"When our inspectors find treated seed, they immediately follow a set process for managing it, including sending samples to our laboratory for analysis," explains Randy Dennis, Chief Grain Inspector for Canada. "This shows that our quality assurance system is working. Grain producers can decrease the number of incidents we see and help maintain Canada's reputation for providing grain that is safe and of a consistent quality by taking precautions on the farm."
Limits and restrictions in grain handling
Health Canada has set maximum residue limits for chemicals in Canadian grain. Any grain exceeding these limits can be condemned. This means that the grain cannot enter the food or feed system and is destroyed.
Under the Canada Grain Act, a licensed grain handling facility cannot receive grain that is contaminated and may refuse to accept delivery of any grain that is believed to be contaminated. As well, the Canada Grain Act prohibits delivery of grain that is contaminated.
If treated seed is found in a shipment at the terminal elevator, the shipment will be held until the Canadian Grain Commission completes a chemical analysis. If the chemical in the shipment is below the maximum residue limit, the shipment may be released. However, each importing country has its own limits for chemical residues, which may result in the cargo not being accepted.
Any delays caused by treated seed can result in additional cost to grain handlers or producers. For example, if a producer car is contaminated, extra charges such as storage charges or costs related to potential contamination of other grain in the facility resulting in loss of the grain's value, if traceable, could be passed on to the producer.
Prevention practices on the farm
Treated seed can enter the grain handling system through contaminated equipment or bins previously used to store treated seed. To prevent cross-contamination on the farm:
- When possible store treated seed in separate bins.
- Clean all equipment and bins after seeding and before harvest.
- Visually inspect equipment and bins for treated seed:
- Before harvest
- Before transferring grain between bins
- Before transferring grain to a truck or railcar for delivery
About the Canadian Grain Commission
The Canadian Grain Commission is the federal agency for establishing and maintaining Canada's grain quality standards. Its programs result in shipments of grain that consistently meet contract specifications for quality, safety and quantity. The Canadian Grain Commission regulates the grain industry to protect producers' rights and ensure the integrity of grain transactions.
SOURCE Canadian Grain Commission