April 22, 2019


Canada's aquaculture industry not too keen on producing GE salmon despite approval


Despite Canada's approval of genetically engineered salmon for production and sale within the country, GE salmon is not widely farmed or sold, according to the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance (CAIA), which represents virtually all farmed salmon in Canada.


CAIA salmon farmer members said that they do not farm or sell GE farmed salmon, nor do they grow or research GE salmon.


"The approval of GE salmon for production and sale in Canada applies to one particular producer", CAIA said in a statement, referring to AquaBounty Technologies, a Massachusetts, USA-based aquaculture company.


AquaBounty Technologies produces what it calls AquAdvantage Salmon, whose eggs are produced in its facility in Canada.


CAIA admitted, though, that the approval of GE salmon was based on "a rigorous scientific process through Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency".


CAIA also pointed out that the Canadian government does not currently require labelling of GE products, even as it supports transparency for consumers. "For our part our producers know their markets and have 'egg to plate' traceability capability to demonstrate the origin of their product".


CAIA moreover encouraged consumers to ask retailers where their salmon originates during their purchase. "We are reviewing our position on mandatory labeling, and recognise the United States and Europe who now require mandatory labeling for GE products", it said.  —Rick Alberto