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Monday, February 1, 2010

CBC News - Technology & Science - Triffid seed threatens flax industry

CBC News - Technology & Science - Triffid seed threatens flax industry

The European Union has shut out Canadian-produced flax seed after traces of Triffid, a genetically-modified strain of flax was detected in Canadian shipments. Triffid was engineered in the 1990's at the University of Saskatchewan to allow for the application of herbicides, but was later banned and ordered destroyed over fears of an EU boycott. Now Triffid is showing up again in commericial crops, and it's not clear where it's coming from. The EU was purchasing 70% of Canada's $320-million production prior to the reappearance of Triffid.

Oddly enough, the name Triffid was taken from a flesh-eating plant in a 1951 sci-fi novel called the Day of the Triffids: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triffid