“We know that Canadian durum wheat is excellent for pasta production, but unfortunately some Italian farm organizations have made a very tough campaign against it over the past years,” said Luigi Cristiano Laurenza, pasta secretary at the Italian Association of Confectionery and Pasta Industries.
“They have convinced our consumers here that Canadian durum wheat is not a safe product to consume because of the presence of glyphosate. Unfortunately, our pasta makers are buying less durum wheat from Canada as a result.”
Since February, all dried pasta sold in Italy must have a label stating the origin of its durum wheat. The country-of-origin labelling regulation followed protests by Italian durum growers in a campaign organized by Italy’s biggest farm organization Coldiretti.
The influential farm group, known for its mass demonstrations with farmers and supporters decked out in its trademark yellow and green, says labelling is needed because Canadian farmers make “intensive use of glyphosate… in the pre-harvest phase.”
For pasta makers, Canadian durum is eccellente
But there are never more than minute traces of the herbicide — even when it is used as a desiccant — in any Canadian grain exports, said a research scientist with the Canadian Grain Commission’s Grain Research Laboratory. The same is also true of mycotoxins such as deoxynivalenol and Ochratoxin A, which Coldiretti also claims ‘contaminate’ Canadian durum, said Sheryl Tittlemier
Unfortunately, perception can affect markets.