Environmentalists say GMO salmon likely sold to unwary Que. consumers
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.