BDC Position Statement on Genetically Modified Barley

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 Genetically modified organisms (GMO) have caused immense controversy within the Agriculture industry, and with the diversity of the BDC’s members, the Council was not immune to the debate. In 1999, the Barley Development Council appointed a special committee to discuss the issue of genetically modified barley. It was the committee’s mandate to come up with a statement for the council regarding our position on GM barley. In 2002, the Barley Development Council released the following statement regarding GM barley in Canada.

The Barley Development Council (BDC), broadly representing the Canadian barley industry, has the following position on Genetically Modified (GM) Barley..

1.The BDC recognizes the advantages of using biotechnology for Basic Research and to develop new varieties of barley that have improved characteristics for barley producers, processors and end users. Ongoing research in these areas should be continued and supported.


The BDC is aware that currently there is customer resistance from the feed, food and malting industries to using GM barley.


The BDC is aware that currently there is no effective system available to detect or segregate GM barley from non-GM barley in Canada.


The BDC recommends that no GM barley varieties be registered in Canada until an effective detection and segregation system is in place. Ongoing research in these areas should also be supported.

The discussion regarding GM barley within the Canadian agriculture industry is ongoing. Over the last few years the Barley Development Council has had more discussions in this area; however the BDC’s official statement on GM barley has remained unchanged.

Other Documents in the Series

  Barley Development Council
Message from the Chair
Incorporation of the Barley Development Council
BDC Position Statement on Genetically Modified Barley - Current Document
Barley Development Council Members
Barley Research Needs and Priorities
Important Players in Barley Industry and Research
List of Current Barley Projects
Minutes - 16th Annual Meeting, July 2009
Canadian Barley Symposium
For more information about the content of this document, contact Lori Oatway.
This document is maintained by Erin Collier.
This information published to the web on April 5, 2007.
Last Reviewed/Revised on April 11, 2014.