En­vi­ron­men­tal­ists say GMO salmon likely sold to un­wary Que. con­sumers

Journal Pioneer - - ATLANTIC -

En­vi­ron­men­tal groups say the first ship­ment of ge­net­i­cally mod­i­fied salmon in the world ar­rived in Canada ear­lier this year and likely ended up on the plates of Quebec con­sumers.

An in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the groups found that 4.5 met­ric tonnes of the ge­net­i­cally mod­i­fied fil­lets — pre­vi­ously an­nounced by U.S.-based AquaBounty Tech­nolo­gies in Au­gust — were shipped from Panama and ar­rived in Quebec. “Quebec con­sumers are prob­a­bly, un­be­knownst to them, the first to eat a ge­net­i­cally mod­i­fied an­i­mal,” Thibault Rehn of the Mon­treal group Vig­i­lance OGM said Thurs­day.

The groups said they used fed­eral govern­ment im­port sta­tis­tics to match claims by AquaBounty in a fis­cal up­date that it sold fresh AquAd­van­tage salmon fil­lets between April and June of this year - the very first sales of the prod­uct.

“That ship­ment is a dis­tinct ship­ment in that it is more salmon than is usu­ally sold from Panama into Canada,” said Lucy Shar­ratt, co-or­di­na­tor of the Cana­dian Biotech­nol­ogy Ac­tion Net­work. AquaBounty, which has a fa­cil­ity in P.E.I., pro­duces its ge­net­i­cally mod­i­fied salmon in Panama.

It con­tains ge­netic ma­te­rial from ocean pout and chi­nook salmon to help it reach adult size faster.

It’s un­clear who pur­chased the Cana­dian ship­ment.

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