CBAN and other environmental groups in Canada and the U.S. are calling on the seafood and aquaculture industry to boycott AquaBounty’s Atlantic salmon eggs to prevent accidental mixing with the company’s genetically modified (GM) Atlantic salmon eggs produced at the same facility in PEI. Read the press release.
CBAN is asking companies buying salmon eggs for fish farming to avoid AquaBounty’s products in order to prevent any mix-up with genetically modified salmon eggs: “The worst-case scenario is a mistake where GM fish eggs are unknowingly sent to a company for growing in ocean net-pens. Unintended production in ocean farms would significantly increase the risk of GM salmon escaping into the wild, putting wild salmon at risk,” said CBAN’s Coordinator Lucy Sharratt.
Human error is a predictable cause of accidental contamination. CBAN’s recent report “GM Contamination in Canada” documents the role of human error in two previous contamination events with experimental GM animals (pigs) in Canada.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada is recommending AquaBounty take measures to decrease the potential for accidental mix-up including producing the GM and non-GM eggs in separate buildings or areas, shipping the GM and non-GM eggs at separate times, and labelling inside and outside shipping boxes, but these measures are not requirements. In April 2019, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada approved production of the first-ever GM salmon at a land-based facility at Rollo Bay, PEI.
“This raised the possibility of a containment failure resulting from human error, whereby transgenic eggs are accidentally shipped as non-transgenic, to customers who could inadvertently release the organism into the environment.”Fisheries and Oceans Canada, risk assessment 2019/014