The Controversy Over Genetically Modified Atlantic Salmon

#A male Atlantic salmon during spawning season.Edward Peter Steenstra/USFWS

Trout Unlimited Canada shares the concern of the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network(CBAN) regarding the introduction of genetically modified Atlantic salmon. Should genetically modified salmon mix with natural wild stock the impact could be catastrophic.

The small U.S. company AquaBounty has asked the U.S. to approve its genetically engineered (also called genetically modified or GM) Atlantic salmon for human consumption. Canada could also be getting ready to approve the GM fish. The company claims its "AquAdvantage" salmon can grow to market-size twice as fast as other farmed salmon. The Atlantic salmon are engineered with a growth hormone gene from Chinook salmon and genetic material from ocean pout (an eel-like creature) based on research from Memorial University.

The company is not asking for approval to grow the fish in the U.S. but plans to produce all of its GM salmon eggs in PEI, ship the eggs to Panama for grow-out and processing, and then sell "table-ready" GM salmon to U.S. consumers.

AquaBounty does not yet have permission from Environment Canada to produce GM salmon eggs in PEI but the department refuses to say if it is currently assessing a request from the company. Health Canada also refuses to say if AquaBounty has asked to have the GM salmon approved for human consumption in Canada. There are no public consultations.

Join us to discuss these and other important questions - Come out to hear who is making the decisions, what is happening in the U.S. and Canada, and how Atlantic Canada is at the center of the global controversy over GM fish.

A number of forums have been scheduled in eastern Canada; October 24th in Charlottetown; October 25th in Fredricton; October 26th in Halifax; and October 27th in St. John's.

Featured speakers include, Eric Hoffman, Biotechnology Policy Campaigner, Friends of the Earth U.S., Washington DC, Jaydee Hanson, Senior Policy Analyst, Center for Food Safety, Washington DC, Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator, Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, Ottawa and Leo Broderick, Vice Chair, Council of Canadians, PEI.

For more information on genetically modified fish please vist the CBAN website.

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