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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: https://www.humanite.fr/biotechnolo...

by Marie-Noëlle Bertrand

Biotech. GMO salmon is swimming into Canada - incognito

Translated Wednesday 23 August 2017, by Meghan O’Shea

One company is selling 5 tons of genetically modified fish. A first for this country.

What is the difference between a Fipronil-tainted egg and a Canadian GMO salmon? The first is illegal in France, at least for a few more hours (see preceding article), and in the limelight. The second is making its second trip into Canadian grocery aisles, since August 4; it’s incognito, but fully legal. Last week, AquaBounty Technologies announced in a statement the sale of approximately five tons of transgenic salmon fillets in the domestic market. Nothing, apart from the statement posted on its website, will have allowed the Canadian consumer to know anything more. Labeling of GMO products is not mandatory in the country, and AquaBounty did not feel any pressure to advertise.

After a twenty year fight, it obtained, in May 2016, ultimate authorization to market what has become the first transgenic animal destined for human consumption. This salmon is "as healthy and nutritious for humans and livestock as classic salmon," said the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

At the same time, other associations are not seeing eye to eye with this statement. "Quebecers and Canadians are at risk of having genetically modified (GM) salmon on their plates without any way of knowing," said Thibault Rehn, coordinator for Vigilance OGM. "The first genetically modified animal has come on the market and we will be the first guinea-pigs - unknowingly. The federal government has not yet conducted an assessment of the environmental risks arising with the production of genetically modified salmon", the association continued. AquaBounty Technologies, for its part, has issued an initial sales assessment: it reports that the sale of this "New Age" salmon has already produced a profit of $53,300 for 2017.

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