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NEWS: Broderick raises concerns about GM fish on Atlantic tour

Council of Canadians vice-chairperson Leo Broderick is currently on a 4-city speaking tour against the pending approval of genetically modified fish.

He was in Charlottetown (on October 24), Fredericton (last night), and will be in Halifax (tonight) and St. John’s (on October 27). The tour is taking place because the White House recently confirmed that the US Food and Drug Administration has finished an environmental assessment of the genetically modified fast-growing Atlantic salmon called AquaAdvantage. The assessment is expected to be released to the US public soon for a 30-day comment period. If the FDA approves the GM Atlantic salmon for human consumption, it will do so based on the company’s specific plan to produce the GM fish eggs in PEI.

Environment Canada has remained silent on the risks and any review they might be conducting. Internal records obtained by Postmedia News say that Environment Canada isn’t sure it can fully protect wild fish stocks if it approves the commercialization of the hatchery for genetically engineered salmon eggs.

Yesterday, the CBC reported, “Around 100 people gathered at the Rodd Charlottetown Monday night for a panel discussion on the work being done at the facility in Bay Fortune, on PEI’s eastern shore. ‘We can start right here on Prince Edward Island, by demanding that our government have more scrutiny over the drug factory on Bay Fortune,’ said Leo Broderick of the Council of Canadians. ‘That’s what’s it’s going to be labeled as, because we will indeed become known around the world as the home of the Frankenfish’.”

This morning, CBC reports, “An international delegation against genetically-modified salmon is holding public meetings across the Atlantic provinces to raise awareness of what its members call ‘Frankenfish’. The group, which includes people from Prince Edward Island, Ottawa and Washington, stopped in Fredericton on Tuesday to campaign against about what could soon become the first world’s first genetically-modified animal approved as a food product. …’We do not want Prince Edward Island to be known around the world as the home of the first FrankenFish,’ said PEI activist Leo Broderick, of the Council of Canadians. …Environmentalists have expressed concern that these fish could escape into the wild and damage wild salmon populations.” Fish Update adds this hour, “The development has led to some colourful language being used with Leo Broderick of the Council of Canadians telling a local conference that if the experiment was allowed to continue Prince Edward Island would become known as a ‘drug factory’.”

And the VOCM in Newfoundland reports, “The Council of Canadians is going to hold a public meeting in St. John’s Thursday night on what some may call ‘frankenfish’. It’s what a person with the council calls the first genetically modified food animal, and they’re concerned is that it will be introduced into the environment. Ken called VOCM Open Line with Randy Simms to talk about the fish, which would be a genetically modified Atlantic salmon. Ken says a small US company, AquaBounty, wants to produce genetically modified salmon eggs on PEI to grow-out in Panama with an eel-like fish, and then sell the finished product in the United States. He suspects that it would eventually be sold in Canada. Ken, who is with the Council of Canadians St.John’s branch, says Thursday night’s meeting takes place at the Lantern at 7:00.”