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Warkentin pushes science-based assessments in China

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Chris Warkentin has come back from China with a greater understanding of international trade opportunities. The Grande Prairie – Mackenzie MP was in the Asian country last week to attend the 2016 G20 Agriculture Ministers Meetings. Warkentin is the Official Opposition Critic Responsible for Agriculture and says a past challenge has been getting partners to use science-based assessments.

“When determining if or not products should be allowed into a market or discontinued. We’ve seen this in the past with countries putting up unfair trading encumbrances for Canadian products really as protectionist mechanisms rather than truly addressing some kind of concern.”

He uses canola as an example.

“They’ve said up until now that we can have up to two per cent impurity in the canola seed that we’re sending to China. Recently because of the stockpiles of their oil seed, they’ve tried to reduce the amount of canola that’s coming into China, and so they’ve said that it can have only one per cent impurities, which is technically impossible.”

Warkentin says closing statement from the G20 ministers included some of the language the Canadian delegation was hoping for.

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Their mission also included the signing of a new partnership between the Canola Council of Canada and the Chinese Nutrition Society. The health council will sharing information with Chinese people about the health benefits of canola oil.

“They’re really recognizing that there’s properties of canola oil that really are beneficial to the population compared to some of the products that the Chinese population has been using up until this point, and so it’s an important relationship to have.”

In 2015 Canada exported $2 billion of Canola seed, $545 million in Canola Oil, $333 mill‎ion in wheat, $314 million in dried peas to China.

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