Cancer-contaminated BC farmed salmon must be destroyed

For Immediate Release
June 4, 2005

TOFINO, BC – The Canadian Government must prevent hundreds of thousands more BC farmed salmon contaminated with malachite green (a chemical considered a carcinogen by Health Canada) from reaching unsuspecting consumers. According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, 36,287 kilograms of tainted BC farmed salmon has already reached markets in the US, Canada, China, Japan and other Asian countries since a food safety recall was issued on 3rd March. Stolt Sea Farms is seeking a market for a further 310,000 Chinook farmed salmon which are still swimming in sea cages at their suspect farm at Brougham Point on East Thurlow Island in the Georgia Strait.

“Stolt’s arguments that malachite-contaminated BC farmed salmon is still safe to eat simply don’t wash,” said Don Staniford of Friends of Clayoquot Sound. “The fact is that BC farmed salmon has been found to be tainted with a chemical considered a carcinogen by Health Canada. The fact is that the Canadian Government has a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to malachite green residues in the flesh of farmed salmon. The fact is that the 310,000 farmed salmon still remaining in Stolt’s Brougham Point farm constitute a potential health hazard and a threat to public health”.

The Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform (CAAR) of which Friends of Clayoquot Sound is a member has now written to the Government, supermarkets and the industry asking:

  • How much more tainted farmed Chinook salmon is still swimming on BC salmon farms?
  • How many other companies are involved?
  • Is BC farmed Atlantic salmon also contaminated with cancer-causing chemicals?
  • How much contaminated BC farmed salmon reached consumers plates in the US, Canada, China, Japan and other Asian countries?

“As a matter of urgency and food safety all contaminated BC farmed salmon must be destroyed immediately,” says Staniford. “If Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency deem BC farmed salmon unsafe to eat then why should consumers in the US, Europe, China, Japan and elsewhere in Asia be offered this contaminated food which is, by Canadian definition, unfit for human consumption? The only safe approach is for consumers to adopt a zero tolerance to BC farmed salmon.”

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For more information please contact:

Don Staniford, Friends of Clayoquot Sound, 250 725 4218

Jennifer Lash, Living Oceans, 250 741 4006

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