The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has received notification from Mexico that all imports of Canadian canaryseed will be held and tested for the presence of quarantine weed seeds. Specifically, Mexico is looking for wild buckwheat and they have indicated that the detection of just one wild buckwheat seed will result in rejection of the canaryseed shipment. The CFIA tests every consignment for weed seeds prior to issuing a phytosanitary certificate, but Canada won’t be able to meet the zero tolerance Mexico is now apparently enforcing. There are herbicides that control wild buckwheat in canaryseed, but there are still seeds that show up in the production. Canadian cleaning plants remove weed seeds including wild buckwheat, but the cleaning isn’t perfect. Often there are one or two and even a dozen wild buckwheat seeds showing up in a 100 gram sample. Mexico is an important market for Canadian canaryseed, the vast majority of which is produced in Saskatchewan. Until Mexican officials can be convinced that there zero tolerance is unworkable, it appears that market will be closed. We’ve exported canaryseed to Mexico for many years and it isn’t clear why this is now a problem. This is another example of how a zero tolerance can mess up market access. I’m Kevin Hursh.

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