August 28, 2016

Take Action / Press / Press Releases / Canadian Groups Concerned as US Approves GM Salmon - Canada to produce GM fish eggs

Canadian Groups Concerned as US Approves GM Salmon - Canada to produce GM fish eggs

Thursday November 19, 2015. Ottawa. Canadian environmental and consumer groups are expressing grave concerns over the US government’s approval of the world’s first genetically modified (GM) food animal, a GM Atlantic salmon that will originate as GM fish eggs produced in Prince Edward Island (PEI), Canada.

“This approval has grave consequences for Canadians and people across the world, and poses a serious environmental threat,” said Lucy Sharratt of the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN), “If Health Canada also approves this fish, Canadians won’t even know how to avoid it in grocery stores because GM foods are not labeled.”

The Canadian government has already approved the GM salmon and eggs for commercial production, in a decision that was challenged in court this week. However, Health Canada has not yet approved it for human consumption.

“We were just in court two days ago challenging Canada’s approval of GM salmon production,” said Mark Butler of Ecology Action Centre. “We’re extremely concerned about the risks to the future of wild Atlantic salmon."

Ecology Action Centre and Living Oceans Society were in federal court on Tuesday arguing that the Canadian government’s approval of GM salmon production was unlawful. The US company AquaBounty has a facility in Prince Edward Island (PEI), Canada where GM fish eggs would now be produced for shipment to Panama, for grow out and processing for the US market.

“We don’t want PEI to be known as the home of the Frankenfish,” said Sharon Labchuk of the PEI group Islanders Say No to Frankenfish. “We cannot allow this global threat to originate from our beautiful island.”

In an Ipsos Reid poll conducted in August 2015 for CBAN, almost half of Canadians (45%) said they would not eat a GM salmon, and 88% said they wanted mandatory labelling of all GM foods.

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For more information:
Lucy Sharratt, Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, 613 809 1103;
Mark Butler, Ecology Action Centre, 902 266 5401;
Sharon Labchuk, Islanders Say No to Frankenfish, 902-626-7327;
Karen Wristen, Living Oceans Society, 604 788 5634.
The poll results are available at www.cban.ca/2015poll
Information on the Canadian court case is available at www.ecologyaction.ca/gmsalmon
Background on the GM fish is available at www.cban.ca/fish

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