GiantNumbers

37 million—Number of dollars invested in the project between Cibus and Makhteshim that will see the development of seven traits in five different crop types. “It’s an entryway into Europe. That is the prime target because we believe our mutagenesis technology will have more favorable access in Europe.” —David Voss


3,000—Plants per acre of hybrid canola required for planting versus 15,000–16,000 plants per acre in corn. “So when you have a problem or an off type it is immense in canola compared to two or three or 30 plants to pull into corn production. Therefore, people look across the fence and think they can just make everything happen the way it happens with corn or sunflowers, but canola is just a dramatically different animal and so it takes a few mistakes for people to realize the challenges of line purity and those things that cause us all those problems.” —Brian McNaughton


8 out of 10—Number of Canadians in 2007 who felt agricultural biotechnology had benefits. “If I look back ten years ago, or even five years ago, increased acceptance [of biotech crops] is happening … I think it is because more benefits are starting to come that consumers can relate to. We’re starting to see things like soybeans with omega-3 and tomatoes with increased levels of lycopene. So, as we start to get more of these benefits happening, I think acceptance is going to increase.” —Janice Tranberg


4—Number of crops BASF is involved with in Canada. “BASF is not a seed company per se, but we work with seed partners to identify crops and challenges within those crops. With the four crops that we’re involved with—canola, wheat, lentils and sunflowers—we then have more than a dozen seed partners that we collaborate with to introduce the Clearfield trait into varieties to be able to make more efficient production and overcome wheat control problems that growers are facing in those crops.” —Harley House


1991—Most recent year of the UPOV agreement, which Canada has not yet ratified. “We talk about patents, we talk about plant breeders’ rights, we talk about plant variety patents and contracts, and each of these tools has a specific use and I don’t think each specific use is very well understood. Canada, in particular, has to come to the table and update our plant breeders’ rights laws to UPOV ’91. We’ve said we’re going to do it, but we haven’t actually done it, and that would be a big step for Canadian developers.” —Lorne Hadley


2001—The year trait development company Cibus came into business. “We have a technology we call the rapid trait development system. It’s a sight-specific mutagenesis technology and we develop traits for companies around the world. We currently have nine partners that we’re developing traits for in about nine crops.” —David Voss


49 per cent—Maximum share of the business Canadian companies are allowed to have in China in order to operate through a joint venture arrangement. “Currently, foreign investment in China is restricted, and, from the sense that we’re a foreign enterprise, to operate in China in the seed industry, companies must partner with a local Chinese company or government agency.” —David Hansen


33—Approximate number of biotech traits that have been developed and commercialized in the last 10–12 years. “We’re expecting within the next 5–10 years an additional 90 traits, and if you add combinations of those traits that number could even get higher. So, we’re really excited about the next wave.” —Janice Tranberg


2—Number of businesses Hytech Production Ltd. has operating together. “Because we’ve got two businesses that work together, one in the Northern Hemisphere and one in the Southern Hemisphere, we’re able to service the industry on both sides for inventory management and long-term production strategies as well as for just-in-time production coming back into North America.” —Brian McNaughton

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