Canadian Federal Court Approves Production Of AquaBounty’s GM Salmon


Health-conscious consumers in Canada will soon face having to determine whether or not the salmon their store supplies is genetically modified (GM). Why? Because an appeal by two environmental groups to the Canadian Federal Courts to halt the production of genetically modified (GM) salmon recently failed.

The Ecology Action Centre of Halifax and the Living Oceans Society in B.C. filed the appeal against AquaBounty and the federal ministers of health and environment.

Reports CBC News, the two environmental groups argued the ministers did not follow their own rules when they approved AquaBounty to manufacture salmon eggs at the company’s P.E.I. facility in Bay Fortune, and export the eggs to be raised into fully-grown fish in Panama.

Two things in particular were alleged: 

  • That the Environment Minister failed to comply with the Environmental Protection Act with the publication of a notice of significant new activity in the Canada Gazette.
  • That both ministers failed to obtain and assess legally required information for a toxicity assessment.

The court dismissed both allegations and ruled that while the groups’ interpretations of the regulations were occasionally reasonable, they failed to show that the ministers’ interpretations were unreasonable.

In a news release, AquaBounty said it was delighted but not surprised and that the decision would allow the company to move forward.

Said the company’s CEO, Ron Stotish:

“This should allay any remaining fears consumers may have about our fish.  The ruling also affirms that Canada has one of the most stringent regulatory systems in the world.”

The genetically modified fish was also recently approved for sale in the United States. Despite more than 2 million people commenting on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) ‘open comment’ page saying that they did not want GM salmon, the Frankenfish was deemed safe to eat.

When it comes to nutrition, reports RT, the DNA-customized salmon, raised in land-based tanks, is said to be no different than farm-raised Atlantic salmon currently found at grocery stores across the US. The agency proclaims this, even though the genetically modified fish grows at twice the rate of regular farmed Atlantic salmon.

It seems federal courts in both the United States and Canada are refusing to listen to consumers’ rights about eating non-GM food.

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