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News 253 views last update:6 Aug 2012

Canola crushers aim to regain US access

Canada's canola crushers work with their government on a document they hope will help crushers regain the confidence of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which has refused canola meal shipments from some of Canada's biggest plants.

Several of those plants -- owned by Viterra Inc, Bunge Ltd and Archer Daniels Midland -- are under increased scrutiny from the FDA because some shipments contained salmonella, which can cause food poisoning. However canola meal is used as feed for animals, not human food.
 
The FDA has placed those plants on import-alert status, making it more difficult for those companies to deliver canola meal to the United States, the top export market.
 
Best management practice
The document will contain best management practices for canola crushers in line with new feed-safety regulations that the FDA is developing, said Ken Stone, chairman of the Canadian Oilseed Processors Association and also Cargill's commercial manager of oilseed processing.
 
The FDA, which has said it will not change its zero tolerance for salmonella detection, has not said whether the document will make any difference to how it inspects Canadian canola meal.
 
The FDA's acceptance of the document would also not allow plants to get off import-alert status more quickly, Stone said.
 
Canada's ambassador to the United States, Gary Doer, said he is working closely with the canola industry on the issue, in a wide-ranging interview with Reuters in Washington.
 
Exports of canola meal to California has roughly fallen by half. Canola meal is popular protein source for dairy cattle.
 
Exporters shipped about 800,000 tonnes to the state last year, said Dave Hickling, vice-president of utilization for the Canola Council.

Dick Ziggers

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