CBAN PRESS RELEASE
Parliament Under Pressure to Stop Genetically Modified Fish: Motion in
the House of Commons requests transparency
Thursday, March 3, 2011.
Ottawa - Today in the House of Commons, New Democratic Party Fisheries
and Oceans Critic Fin Donnelly tabled a motion asking for transparency
and more study before genetically modified (GM) Atlantic salmon are
approved for human consumption.
US company AquaBounty has genetically modified a faster growing
Atlantic salmon by inserting a growth hormone gene from Chinook salmon
and genetic material from ocean pout.
AquaBounty has asked the US Food and Drug Administration to approve
the GM Atlantic salmon for human consumption but the status of any
requests for approvals from the company to the Canadian government are
unknown because our federal departments refuse to disclose this
“Why won’t the government tell us if they are doing a risk
assessment?” asked Leo Broderick of PEI and Vice-Chair of the Council
of Canadians, “AquaBounty wants to supply the market with genetically
modified salmon eggs from PEI but Canadians have no clue if the
company has asked for approval here.”
AquaBounty is not planning to produce GM salmon in the US but is
instead proposing to produce all the GM salmon eggs on Prince Edward
Island and then ship the eggs for grow out and processing in Panama,
for selling into the US consumer market.
Today’s motion asks the government to explain its regulations and to
set up a system to notify Canadians about any requests for approval
and approval decisions. The motion also asks the government to
“prevent the introduction of genetically modified salmon destined for
human consumption into the Canadian food system until further
scientific studies are concluded by the relevant departments to
determine the impact of genetically modified salmon on human health
and on the health of marine species, ecosystems and habitats.”
“We call on all Members of Parliament to support the motion. It is a
request for basic transparency,” said Lucy Sharratt of the Canadian
Biotechnology Action Network. "This cloak of secrecy is unjustifiable
and, frankly, ridiculous."
“DFO’s own scientists have acknowledged that genetically modified
salmon pose a real risk to our wild fish stocks,” said Catherine
Stewart of Living Oceans Society in B.C. “Any debate on this issue,
any scientific research informing the debate, must be made available
to all concerned citizens.”
Sixty fisheries and oceans conservation, environmental and social
justice groups released a joint statement in December 6, 2010,
opposing GM fish.
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