Friday, March 1, 2013

Prince Edward Island Activists Call for Ban on GM Salmon

Activist Post

Canadian-based group Islanders Say No to GM Salmon is calling on Premier Ghiz to ban the production of genetically modified (also known as genetically engineered or GE) Atlantic salmon eggs in PEI. As the United States edges closer to approving human consumption of GM salmon in the next months, increased attention is now focused on Canada, and in particular PEI, as the only source of GM salmon eggs on the planet.

The experimental, lab-created Atlantic salmon eggs have been produced by AquaBounty, an American company, at a remote facility in Bay Fortune, PEI for more than a decade while it tries to convince the U.S. government to allow the mutant fish into grocery stores.

AquaBounty proposes to produce the GM salmon eggs in PEI, ship them to Panama for growing out and processing, then send the GM fish into the U.S. market. Using PEI and Panama to produce the fish allows AquaBounty to avoid an even more contentious environmental assessment process in the US, said Islanders Say No to GM Salmon spokesperson, Sharon Labchuk.

Already the US government has received more than 30,000 comments from citizens and groups as part of the public process to assess the GM fish. Almost one million people have signed an online petition from Avaaz, a global civic action organization, against GM salmon.

Even the aquaculture industry doesn’t support GM fish and says there is no market for them.

“Scientists say the escape of just 60 GM salmon, and fish escape all the time from aquaculture facilities, could mean the end of the wild Atlantic salmon, a species already struggling to survive,” said Labchuk. “The mutant fish are engineered to produce unnatural amounts of growth hormones causing them to grow quickly. The worry is these fast-growing frankenfish will outcompete wild salmon for food and breed with them, effectively eliminating the species.”

AquaBounty claims the GM salmon will be grown in land-based pens in Panama but the company will have no control over regulations in other countries once the eggs are marketed around the globe. The company claims the fish are sterile, but its own data submitted to the U.S. government shows up to 5% of the fish will be capable of breeding.

“A coalition of PEI organizations has lobbied both Liberal and Tory governments over the years for a GM-free province,” said Leo Broderick, Islanders Say No to GM Salmon representative. “Now because of the urgency of the situation we’ve come together to focus on a GM salmon ban. Canada has not yet approved commercial production of the GM salmon eggs but we fear if the U.S. gives approval to human consumption of GM salmon the Harper government will quickly follow suit and approve not only the sale of the frankenfish in grocery stores but the production of mutant salmon eggs as well,” said Broderick.

This month the Alaska House of Representatives came out in opposition to GM Atlantic salmon, saying it has concerns about threats to human health and wild salmon stocks, and potential negative impacts on the wild Alaska salmon fishery. Islanders Say No to GM Salmon asked Premier Ghiz to similarly tell the Harper government that PEI opposes GM salmon. The group said that even if Prime Minister Harper does approve GM salmon egg production, Premier Ghiz has the authority to ban production in PEI.

“There is no evidence the frankenfish are safe to eat,” said Mary Boyd, group representative. “Genetically engineered salmon have higher levels of IGF-1, a growth hormone that according to experts may increase the risk of several types of cancer.”

“In past years, international media reported on PEI’s role in AquaBounty’s quest to market the world’s first GM animal for human consumption,” said Labchuk. “Attention is now intensifying and PEI is poised to be a critical player. Do we want PEI known around the world as home of the frankenfish, the province that could have stopped GM salmon from wiping out Atlantic salmon but didn’t? There’s nothing to gain and everything to lose by letting this American company, concerned only with lining its own pockets, set up shop in PEI. It’s up to Islanders to say no to GM salmon.”

Sharon Labchuk 902-626-7327
Leo Broderick 902-894-4874
Mary Boyd 902-892-9074

Islanders Say No to GM Salmon on Facebook

More information on the issue:
Ocean Conservancy
Centre for Food Safety
Canadian Biotechnology Network
Food and Water Watch


Islanders Say No to GM Salmon is a group organized to push for a ban on GM Atlantic salmon eggs in PEI but the founders of the group are all long-time opponents of GMOs in PEI. Leo Broderick, Sharon Labchuk and Mary Boyd formerly worked in collaboration for years under the banners of organizations we represent, respectively, the Council of Canadians (PEI Chapter), Earth Action, and the PEI Health Coalition.

Opposition to genetically engineered organisms began in PEI with the introduction of Monsanto’s NewLeaf potato in the mid-1990s. Our campaign, assisted by many national and international organizations, forced Monsanto to withdraw the GM potato from the global market. No GM potato has been approved in Canada since.

We began to campaign against AquaBounty and its GM Atlantic salmon in 2000, including participating in an action with Greenpeace at the AquaBounty site that was broadcast around the world. We campaigned for PEI to be GMO-free zone beginning in 2001 culminating in legislative public hearings in 2005. More presentations were made at these hearings than at any other legislative hearings in the history of the province. With the U.S. poised to make a decision in the coming months on approving GM salmon for human consumption, our efforts in PEI will ramped up.

We are members of the Canadian Biotechnology Network (CBAN), a coalition of anti-GMO organizations, and work closely through CBAN with our American colleagues on issues like the GM salmon. With CBAN we’ve participated in public panel presentations in PEI and other provinces and attended U.S. government hearings on the GM salmon.

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Anonymous said...

People have all the say in this; if there is demand then people get what they deserve. This is not a day and age when we can be ignorant.

Hide Behind said...

They are not raising fish they are farming a source of protein.
Canadian farm fisheries on both coast are huge infustries and all got started eith Canadian gov backed and outright susidys.
It is their Atlantic salmon which are even runts compared to wild. That are invasive species and threaten what little is left of American Salmon.
THE waters under and for a very long ways out from these ocen pen raised
protein sources are almost devoid of any form of what once were resident sea life.
The demise of ocean grown but bred in fresh wild waters western coast salmon stocks are in steep decline.
There are many reasons this is so and almost all reasons are human caused.
Trade treatys with Asian firms have been granted access to our fish in exchange for their allowing US military bases upon their lands.
Native American tribes have almost turned over all their hatchery programs to Asian firms because they pay 50x more for salmon roe that fish.
OUR dumb as rocks fisheries biologist who planted Silvers that drove out wild stocks and weigh less than half a wildstock.They alsothought they were smarter than nature and worked with Fish Corps who wanted a geneticly implanted instinct that caused all of tem to come at once inthe name of efficiency.
Trouble is theyforgot the natural environment that of many rain bbloated rivers now and then wiped out a whole fisheries where as when salmon straggled in a few hundred thousand at a time some breeding reds did not get silted or washed out.
FORESTRY IS TODAY LARGEST DESTROYER OF PACIFIC SALMON RUNS! AND. Here too the dumb as rocks forestry graduates had the same disease as their fisheries brethren! Lack of common sense and being invertebates they spread em for industry.
You may not know but the majority of fish in US markets is farm grown.
Ocean over fishing is pushing the blue fin tuna to brink of extinction but fisheries in Japan know that the most costly fish to buy in world just brings them more profits the scarcer it gets.
you are what you eat and pay for what you do not even know what you are eating.
ONE last part is disease and their introduction to our wild fish stock and this too stems from brains that think ineffeciently the hstchery systems introduced new diseases by handling, growing them in concrete pons anf feeding the spawn their parents dead bodies and artificial disese ridden feeds.

david llewellyn foster said...

Well said Hide Behind!

Shocking ocean and forest mismanagement, together with lethally toxic mineral extraction processes for industry are at the root of our world-wide provisioning-pollution crisis. We are a mad species so long as we rely upon these sophist "experts" and industry advocates.

There are intelligent solutions but who will adopt them? "Politicians" are mostly owned and paid for by vested interests.

We are heading for world-wide ecological catastrophe and likely resource wars of unprecedented complexity.

David Llewellyn Foster (former resident of PEI, & many years across Canada.)

Anonymous said...

Grocery list:
2 gallons bsd hormone free raw milk.
Yogurt made from raw milk.
Organic locally grown tomatoes.
Organic locally grown spinach n kale.
Local farm raised free range whole chickens.
Local farm raised free range brown chicken eggs.
Local bee honey.
All paid with cash.

Hey nwo, u can do all u want, i maintain the
power of choice. I choose to defecate on u.

Hide Behind said...

@ All you city bred and flatlanders that live away from Canadian coastlands of the East and Western coastlands from Northern California up the Canadian and along Alaska.
There are more than one species of Salmon and within a few of them we have a couple of subspecies.
But Salmon are not the only ocean to fresh water migrating species that are threatened by protein farmers; I will mention two salmonoids that are red flesh colored; Steelhead and Cuthroat trout.
There are many whiye fleshed fish that migrate into and out of bays and rivers brackish waterways such as sole, codfish, flounders striped bass and some unedibles that are ate as fish meal in asian lands.
The steelhead is a rainbow trout that migrates and the Sea Run Cuthroat is a cuthroat that migrates to sea as well.
THere is a symbiotic connection between the Cuthroat Steelhead and their more numerous Salmon cousins that was almost wiped out by domestic fisheries.,Forestry, and human as well as Industry waste products we lump together and call it pollution; All before the introduction of protein farms.
In fact that is one reason those farms were built to alleviate and of course to benefit the very peoples who caused that need.
Lowered natural salmon runs meant a loss of the relationship between the cuthroat ,steelhead and salmon and the Steelies and Cuts were not a large group to begin with and have already if not completely didapeared from many rivers and all do to human greed ans stupidity.
OTHER thsn the Columbia River in US and its tributory the Snake that comes down from Canada and the Frazer River's drainages almost all coastal rivers and streams are along steep terraian and not very long in lengrh some but a mere two miles and not wery wide.
There are literally hundreds of these small fisheries all dependent upon clean ocean and fresh waterways that allow unobstructed entry to continue their species.
In all that vast expance of ocean borders you cannot find but a very few streams no rivers where human depravation has not drasticly changed the life of the salmonoid drasticly.

Anonymous said...

Another issue to consider is the collapse of the Peruvian anchovy fishery, fish farmers now need to rely more on GMO soy, corn and other modified vegan items to feed these monsters as global fish stocks decline. Include the increased use of antibiotics this critter should be avoided.

MCbears said...

Genetically modified foodstuffs are a thing of the present. Most of the things you eat have some form of genetically modification. Corn, soybeans, rice on today's market are all "GMO". Terrestrial agricultural animals such as cows, pigs and chickens are fed corn based feeds made from GMO corn. Even crops like broccoli and califlower have been selectively bred to the point where they no longer resemble the original plant from which they were sown centuries ago. So why is it so shocking that GMO animals are next? Unless you only eat animals grass fed on your own unfertilized property, and grow crops without the use of any pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers, you will already find Food of GMO origin in your diet. That Pepsi you bought at the gas station is made from GMO corn syrup, the bag of Tostitos is made from GMO corn too. GMO foods are here and you are eating them.

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