It is not too far-fetched to say that trainloads of canola oil manufactured at Cargill Limited’s seed processing facility at Clavet, Saskatchewan are being turned back at the border by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA).
October’s “import refusal report” by FDA shows three Cargill canola oil shipments being turned back on Oct. 12 and then another 14 shipments via the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad being stopped on Oct. 30. It was to be used for animal feed in the U.S.
Each of the 17 October shipments was refused entry to the United States because they appeared to “contain Salmonella, a poisonous and deleterious substance which may render it injurious to health.”
All the shipments were coming from the Cargill Oil Seed Processing facility in Clavet, which has the capacity to process 2,400 tons of canola oil each day. The largest soft-seed plant in North America, the Clavet facility makes canola oil and specialty oils in addition to canola meal.
Canola meal is used as a high protein feed by the livestock industry. Canola oils are used for salad oils, frying and processed food applications.
Cargill, Bunge, and Viterra canola plants were already operating under restrictions imposed by FDA before the October shipments were refused. The actions have caused the canola producers to reduce their crushing volumes.
The Salmonella bacterium is one of the most common causes of foodborne illnesses. Canada’s homegrown canola industry argues meal used for livestock feed should not be held to human food standards. Salmonella was responsible for at least two large ground beef recalls this year.
Canada annually exports three to four millions tons of seed and 700,000 tons of canola oil and one million tons of canola meal. Canada and the U.S., mostly North Dakota, produce up to ten million tons of canola seed each year. Canola originally meant “Canadian oil, low acid.”
Cargill Limited, headquartered in Winnipeg, employs 10,000 Canadians in meat, egg, oilseed processing, animal feed, salt, chocolate, natural gas, crop inputs as well as grain handling and merchandising. It is a unit of Minneapolis-based Cargill Inc., which employs 158,000 in 66 countries.