Feb 222019


Special Update: GM Salmon

Genetically modified (GM or genetically engineered) Atlantic salmon is being sold in Canada, unlabelled. It is currently produced in small numbers in Panama but could soon be produced in Canada.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) says it will not investigate our complaint alleging misleading advertising. The complaint focuses on prominent assertions made by the GM fish company AquaBounty on its homepage. The CFIA told CBAN, “As Aqua Bounty’s home page www.aquabounty.com is not based in Canada, it does not fall under CFIA jurisdiction.”

Yet the federal government has provided millions in grants and loans to this same company. The government has given over $8 million in various grants and loans to AquaBounty, to support the development of the GM salmon. This includes a funding agreement that stipulates 10% of product sales will go to the government as royalty payments.

AquaBounty now says that the GM salmon is not the product subject to the royalty agreement. However, the federal government Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency has told CBAN that it will not disclose which AquaBounty product sales will provide the government with 10% royalties.

Most recently, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada is preparing to respond to AquaBounty’s request to start producing GM salmon in PEI. A decision is expected any day. If the Minister approves production in Canada, more GM salmon will be sold unlabelled to Canadians.

And all this time, Canadians are eating GM salmon unlabelled in grocery stores and restaurants or other venues.

Take action here.

Find out How to Avoid Eating GM Salmon.

CBAN and our Quebec member group Vigiliance OGM continue to investigate imports of GM salmon:

GM salmon is grown and packaged in Panama for shipping to Canada. This photo shows the box labelled “Panama Exporta” (Export of Panama) with the fillets. Screenshot from a video about AquaBounty’s Panama facility. Boxes of GM salmon in transit from AquaBounty in Panama, to Canada. (The white spaces show where information was redacted.)
Photo from Access to Information documents.
Boxes of frozen GM salmon fillets in transit from AquaBounty in Panama, to Canada.
Photo from Access to Information documents.
The CFIA inspects and releases the GM salmon that is shipped from Panama to Canada.
Photo from Access to Information documents.

For full updates and background details see www.cban.ca/fish.

CBAN is investigating GM salmon sales and production, and monitoring the company AquaBounty. Help us continue monitoring and sharing information. Donate today.

Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator

coordinator   @     cban.ca


Why don’t we have mandatory labelling in Canada? Read about it in our GMO Inquiry report, “Are GM crops better for consumers?”


The Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN) brings together 16 organizations to research, monitor and raise awareness about issues relating to genetic engineering in food and farming. CBAN members include farmer associations, environmental and social justice organizations, and regional coalitions of grassroots groups. CBAN is a project on Tides Canada’s shared platform.

Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN) 

PO Box 25182, Clayton Park, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, B3T 1X8

Phone: 902 209 4906   www.cban.ca

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