Canada/China ink blackleg research MOU
Canada and China have signed a memorandum of understanding to research methods of reducing the risks of transmitting blackleg ( Leptosphaeria maculans) disease via canola seed. The programme will be funded by the Canadian government and co-ordinated by the Canola Council of Canada (CCC). It is an extension of a 2010 agreement between the two countries. China restricted imports of canola seed from Canada in 2009 amid fears that the pathogen could be transferred from Canada, where it is endemic, to Chinese canola crops. The quarantine conditions mandated seed testing for the presence of blackleg, and initially restricted processing of contaminated seed shipments to two Chinese crushing facilities, both distant from canola-growing areas. In 2010, China said that it would only accept canola shipments certified blackleg-free. The import restrictions represent a “major market access issue” for the sector, says the CCC. It hopes to have data ready for review by China later this year.