BC Salmon Farmers Assoc. deflects blame for its contaminated fish

Letter to the BC Salmon Farmers Association

A few weeks ago [early May], I saw you respond negatively to a letter asking for independent testing of your farmed salmon. Now, two of your farms have tested positive for the highly contagious IHN virus, resulting in the ordered killing of your stocks. Without any proof, you place the blame of your outbreaks entirely on wild fish, while deceptively proclaiming IHN won’t harm wild salmon. Those studies you quote were done on adult salmon, yet you don’t mention numerous studies showing IHN to be “deadly to juvenile wild salmon” – you know, the innocent ones now swimming past your filthy, infected farms. While the world’s leading labs are confirming a myriad of “European strain” diseases from store-bought BC farmed salmon, you not only deny those findings as well, but arrogantly still refuse independent testing. This has many of us questioning your ethics or lack thereof. Since your main argument with independent lab results is about “foul play” or “contamination,” why don’t you accompany your fish to the lab just to make sure there’s no hanky panky going on? If your fish are as squeaky clean as you claim, there should be no problem. The public and wild salmon deserve to know.

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Algorithms from wartime to Wall Street

American flag with digital stars

article and photo by Geoff Olson

• The Hungarian-born émigré and mathematician John von Neumann is remembered as an urbane and witty man. His colleagues admired his finely tailored clothes and superhuman capacity to handle liquor, to say nothing of his important contributions to a wide range of fields, from game theory to quantum physics. The man’s bald dome housed one of the most powerful brains of the twentieth century.

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Taking the bite out of GM apples

Love the Apple No GMO

by Lucy Sharratt

• A small BC company called Okanagan Specialty Fruits (OSF) has developed a genetically modified apple that will not turn brown when it is cut, even though 10 years ago, the genetically engineered (or genetically modified, GM) “non-browning” apple was actually driven out of Canada when BC apple growers successfully stopped planned field trials at a local government research station. Nonetheless, the company has now asked Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) for approval.

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Cholesterol drugs

What you don’t know can hurt you

DRUG BUST by Alan Cassels

The people’s briefing note on prescription drugs

• I’ve been following the cholesterol saga – both the marketing and the science of the dreaded “high cholesterol” – for more than 15 years and I have come to a single conclusion: people, and I mean all of us, including specialists, researchers, physicians, nurses, pharmacists and patients, have no idea of the range of possible harms associated with taking a cholesterol-lowering drug.

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Birth of the peace

semaphore origin of peace symbol

Nuclear Disarmament

• The peace symbol is one of the most widely known symbols in the world. In Britain, it is recognized as standing for nuclear disarmament and, in particular, as the logo of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). In the US and throughout much of the rest of the world, it is known more broadly as the peace symbol. It was designed in 1958 by Gerald Holtom, a professional designer and artist and a graduate of the Royal College of Arts. He showed his preliminary sketches to a small group of people in the Peace News office in North London and to the Direct Action Committee Against Nuclear War, one of several smaller organizations that came together to set up CND.

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Dr. Rosalie Bertell – in memorium

Dr. Rosalie Bertell

World loses renowned environmental researcher

by Dr. Gordon Edwards

• On June 14, 2012, we lost a giant with the passing of Sister Rosalie Bertell, Ph.D., an internationally recognized environmental epidemiologist, cancer researcher and public health advocate. She was 83.
I knew of Rosalie Bertell’s work at the Roswell Park Memorial Institute where she first gained invaluable insights into the manner in which ionizing low-level radiation degrades health and impairs the intelligence of very young children. I was lucky enough to accompany Rosalie on a trip to Korea to visit the communities where the CANDU nuclear reactors are located. I witnessed first-hand her compassionate heart and her scientific mind working in seamless harmony.

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