NEWS: Council demands disclosure on GE salmon assessment

Brent Patterson
9 years ago

A media release issued today states that, “PEI groups (have) asked Premier Ghiz to insist that Environment Canada disclose that they have begun an environmental assessment of production of genetically engineered (GE) Atlantic salmon eggs on the Island.” "AquaBounty plans to produce all of its GE salmon eggs at its facility at Bay Fortune on Prince Edward Island. It will then ship the eggs to Panama for growing out and processing to then sell into the US." “’Both AquaBounty and Environment Canada refuse to tell the public if an environmental assessment for GE fish eggs has even begun.’ said Leo Broderick of the Council of Canadians. Broderick called Environment Canada who refused to answer if they are currently looking at an application from AquaBounty, saying this information was confidential. ‘Environment Canada must immediately tell PEI residents if they have already begun their 120 day process to approve GE salmon egg production here. It's outrageous that the public has no input at all and cannot know when or if the process has started. Premier Ghiz must intervene in the interest of protecting PEI’s environment and reputation’, adds Broderick.” "Environment Canada will assess the environmental risks of commercial scale GE salmon egg production in a completely secret process. The department must reach its decision in 120 days of receiving a request.  Environment Canada will regulate GE fish or fish eggs under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act because the Department of Fisheries and Oceans abandoned development of regulations for Transgenic Aquatic Organisms." "The group is asking the Premier:

  1. To insist Environment Canada notify the Government of PEI when it begins an environmental assessment for GE salmon egg production, that the province be consulted on environmental risk questions and be notified immediately if approval is granted;
  2. To hold public consultations on whether or not AquaBounty should be permitted to produce GE salmon eggs on PEI;
  3. To call on the Canadian government to ban the sale of any GE animal, and
  4. To introduce legislation declaring PEI a GMO-free province."

“The company AquaBounty has asked the United States Food and Drug Administration to approve its GE Atlantic salmon for human consumption in the US. A final decision could be made as early as tomorrow (November 23)." For previous campaign blogs on the issue of GM salmon, please go to http://canadians.org/search/node/aquabounty.