If seeding flax this spring buy certified seed. That’s the message from the Flax Council of Canada.
Certified seed is free of Triffid, the genetically modified flax found in Canadian flax exports in 2009. Even though only trace amounts were found, the contamination disrupted Canadian flax exports to the European Union — one of Canada’s main flax customers.
Soon after the council began asking farmers to test farm-saved seed to ensure it was Triffid free before planting.
Because of farmers co-operation Canada’s flax industry is getting closer to its goal of eliminating all traces of Triffid from the system, the council said in a news release.
“We are currently seeing extremely low levels but, although we are close to our objective, as long as farm-saved seed is being used at all, we cannot discontinue the sampling and testing procedure,” Flax Council of Canada president Don Kerr said.
Farmers should continue to test harvested flaxseed and planting seed for the presence of Triffid, the council said. A description of sampling procedures can be found on the flax council’s website.
“Please note that some flax buyers will only accept test results from certain labs,” the council said. “Check with the flax council for the complete list of approved testing labs (at) flaxcouncil.ca.”