[caption id="attachment_78259" align="aligncenter" width="640"] New Lawsuit Opposes Genetically Altered Ottawa Salmon Approval[/caption]
A pair of Canadian environmentalist organizations have united in challenging biotechnology firm AquaBounty's approved production of salmon with modified genetics.
The Ecology Action Centre of Halifax and Living Oceans of British Columbia allege that Environment Canada violated its established rules in allowing AquaBounty to commercially cultivate the experimental fish's eggs, unique for their doubled growth rate, at its Prince Edward Island facility as of November of last year.
The two environmental groups contend that testing required under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act was not implemented, thus ignoring the potential invasive qualities of the fast-hatching salmon if allowed into the water supply. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans states in a risk assessment that AquaBounty requested to waive this information due to keeping the fish in a contained facility, but their waiver was allegedly never published.
The plaintiffs also request that growing fish to adult size in the contained facility, a practice whose risk is allegedly disregarded in the DFO's assessment, should be prohibited until further reviews are made. The approval given allows their growth within the facility, provided that they are killed before removal from the plant; however, AquaBounty has stated its intent to raise the eggs at the PEI plant and export them into Panama where they would be raised to adult, market-ready size.
AquaBounty's CEO has dismissed the merit of the lawsuit, while Environment Canada has declared the matter to be in the courts' hands.
On The Web: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/genetically-modified-salmon-approval-faces-lawsuit-1.2506248