Genetically Modified Atlantic Salmon: Atlantic Canada is at the centre of the global controversy over GM fish

From the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network:

Public Forums on GM Fish in Atlantic Canada Oct 24-27: Charlottetown, Fredericton, Halifax, St.John’s.

Genetically Modified Atlantic Salmon: Atlantic Canada is at the centre of the global controversy over GM fish

Canada and the U.S. could soon approve a genetically modified (GM) Atlantic salmon – the first-ever GM food animal in the world. The small U.S. company AquaBounty wants to produce GM salmon eggs in PEI, to grow-out in Panama and sell to U.S. consumers. What are the risks for wild Atlantic salmon? What’s happening in Canada? How are we at the centre of this controversy?

Featuring: 
• Eric Hoffman, Biotechnology Policy Campaigner, Friends of the Earth U.S., Washington DC
• Jaydee Hanson, Senior Policy Analyst, Center for Food Safety, Washington DC
• Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator, Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, Ottawa
• Leo Broderick, Vice Chair, Council of Canadians, PEI

Charlottetown, Monday October 24 
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM The Rodd Charlottetown Hotel, Georgian Ballroom, 75 Kent St.
Moderator: Sharon Labchuk, EarthAction PEI

Fredericton, Tuesday October 25
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM Petitcodiac Room, Crowne Plaza Fredericton Lord Beaverbrook Hotel, 659 Queen St.
Moderator: Matthew Abbott, Coordinator for Fundy Baykeeper 

Halifax, Wednesday October 26 
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, Small Craft Gallery, 1675 Lower Water St.
Moderator: Mark Austin, Rural and Coastal Communities Network 
Host: Jeff Torbert, Food Action Committee, Ecology Action Centre

St. John’s, Thursday October 27
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM The Lantern, 35 Barnes Road (parking at The Basilica).
Moderator: Ken Kavanagh, Council of Canadians St. John’s Chapter

Free Admission-Everyone Welcome.

For more details, and posters and flyers: http://www.cban.ca/events

Presented by: Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, Center for Food Safety USA, Conservation Council of New Brunswick, PEI and St. John’s Chapters of the Council of Canadians, EarthAction PEI, Ecology Action Centre Nova Scotia, Fundy Baykeeper, PEI Health Coalition, Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Network, Friends of the Earth U.S., Sierra Club Atlantic Canada.

For more information on genetically modified fish : http://www.cban.ca/fish

Summary:

The small U.S. company AquaBounty has asked the U.S. to approve its genetically engineered (also called genetically modified or GM) Atlantic salmon for human consumption. Canada could also be getting ready to approve the GM fish. The company claims its “AquAdvantage” salmon can grow to market-size twice as fast as other farmed salmon. The Atlantic salmon are engineered with a growth hormone gene from Chinook salmon and genetic material from ocean pout (an eel-like creature) based on research from Memorial University.

The company is not asking for approval to grow the fish in the U.S. but plans to produce all of its GM salmon eggs in PEI, ship the eggs to Panama for grow-out and processing, and then sell “table-ready” GM salmon to U.S. consumers.

AquaBounty does not yet have permission from Environment Canada to produce GM salmon eggs in PEI but the department refuses to say if it is currently assessing a request from the company. Health Canada also refuses to say if AquaBounty has asked to have the GM salmon approved for human consumption in Canada. There are no public consultations.

Any risk of GM Atlantic salmon escaping into the wild is unacceptable, especially when Atlantic salmon are already in danger of disappearing. Join us to discuss these and other important questions – Come out to hear who is making the decisions, what is happening in the U.S. and Canada, and how Atlantic Canada is at the center of the global controversy over GM fish. 

For more information on genetically modified fish : http://www.cban.ca/fish

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