Canada's flaxseed industry continues to make progress eliminating traces of genetically modified Triffid seed from the country's crop, but there is still work to be done given Europe's very tight allowances for the gene. Triffid, a genetically modified flaxseed variety, was bred in Saskatchewan in the 1990s for tolerance to soil residues of sulfonylurea herbicides, but was deregistered in 2001 and never commercialized. Traces, however, found in Canadian shipments to Europe in 2009, effectively shutting the door to what had been the largest market for Canadian exports. In the aftermath of the original discovery, testing protocols were put in place in an effort to eliminate Triffid from Canada's flaxseed crop and reopen export markets. "We have seen the incidence of Triffid go down," said Will Hill, president of the Flax Council of Canada. Currently, about two per cent of all samples were showing traces of Triffid, which compares with 10 per cent when testing first began with the 2009-10 crop, said Hill. Of those samples testing positive now, the intensity of contamination is also much smaller than in 2009, with the overall amount of Triffid in the tests that are positive very close to the 0.01 per cent detection level called for by the European Union. In order to see the food market reopen in Europe, the percentage of samples testing positive for Triffid will need to decline further still or changes to the protocol itself will need to be made, said Hill. There is now a 0.01 per cent allowance for Triffid, but if that allowance were 0.1 per cent, Hill estimated there wouldn't be any samples testing positive at all.