Farmed salmon toxins proven unsafe, an industry on the ropes
by Adam S. Sealey
• I do not recommend pregnant women, children or young people to eat farmed salmon.
–Norwegian doctor Anne-Lise Birch Monsen
Last month, “Wild Salmon Warrior News” explained why salmon farms must be removed from wild salmon migration routes. This month, we tell the other side of the story: how farmed salmon in BC, Norway and elsewhere is full of toxins. First some shocking news from Norway, the country where modern salmon farming originated and which owns most of the salmon farms in BC.
Norwegian doctor Anne-Lise Birch Monsen, a specialist from the clinical department at Haukeland University Hospital, recently stated to the Norwegian newspaper VG (Verdens Gang), “I do not recommend pregnant women, children or young people to eat farmed salmon. It is uncertain in both the amount of toxins salmon contain and how these drugs affect children, adolescents and pregnant women.” She points out that the types of contaminants detected in farmed salmon have a negative effect on brain development and are associated with autism, ADHD and reduced IQ.
On June 10, the International Herald Tribune published an article about farmed salmon, with the caveat, “Don’t give [it] to the children,” and the accompanying caption: “May produce brain damage.”
Here in BC, two of many champions for wild salmon are educating the public and inspiring us all to take action to protect wild salmon and public health. Twyla Roscovich, documentary filmmaker and underwater marine cinematographer, states, “I think the biggest concern right now is the impact that salmon farm-origin pathogens are having on our public marine resources. The high density of the farms is creating dangerous mutations and amplifying pathogens, which our valuable wild fish are being exposed to. Our government, which is deeply enmeshed with industry, cannot be trusted to manage this public resource so we must take the management of salmon back to the people who depend on them. I will be releasing an ongoing series of coastal news video clips as the science unfolds. Sign up or watch the free 70 minute film at SalmonConfidential.ca”
Eddie Gardner (T’it’elem Spath) is a member of the Skwah First Nation in Chilliwack, BC. Eddie is currently an Elder-in-Residence at the University of the Fraser Valley. He is devoted to working with First Nations authorities, Salmon Are Sacred, environmental groups, scientists and the food industry to protect and restore wild salmon. He has started a series of actions to educate the public about the dangers of eating farmed salmon, especially for children. “I choose a restaurant or food outlet that sells farmed salmon and ask the manager to remove farmed salmon from their shelves. I let them know there will be a rally in front of their establishment to help raise awareness. I also give the manager information to hand out to customers. A media advisory is issued announcing there will be a boycott on a specific date at the store or restaurant and I also post the event on social media. I present a certificate of acknowledgement and appreciation if the store or restaurant joins the feedlot salmon boycott. I also reward them with a ‘cash mob’ by having 8 to 12 people show up for a meal at their restaurant. This encourages other restaurants to follow suit.”
Wild Pacific Salmon are at the root of our culture and of countless cultures since time immemorial here in BC and beyond.
I can think of no other species of animal who have given more to our collective nourishment and cultural backbone than wild salmon, can you? Now, they need us. They need you, your voice, your circle of family and friends whose lives have always been and hopefully will always be all the richer because of the presence of wild salmon.
In Norway the fish is out of the pen, so to speak, on farmed salmon and it’s dangers to human health, wild salmon health and the health of the oceans they occupy. Twyla Roscovich recently traveled to Norway and met with most of the top salmon scientists in the country where modern salmon feedlot farming was born more than 35 years ago. Those scientists consistently told her, on camera, that the disease called Heart Skeletal Muscle Inflammation (HSMI) most certainly is related to the Piscine Reovirus (PRV) that is currently spreading through BC salmon. Watch for yourself
Our government and the foreign owned salmon farming industry refuses to allow independent testing of their farmed Atlantic salmon for PRV or Infectious Salmon Anemia (ISA). When Dr. Fred Kibenge’s lab at the University of PEI found that British Columbia’s salmon were testing positive for a potentially devastating virus linked to salmon farming worldwide, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) responded by asking the Office of International Epizootics (OIE) to strip Kibenge’s lab of its international certification. The fact that the salmon eggs come from Norway where these viruses are prevalent and the fact that salmon are dying in record numbers here in BC before they can spawn tells us that we are dealing with the same diseases as well as a self-regulated and corrupt industry. Ad in a complicit government inept to do their job and duty to us and the salmon and we’re on the brink of a potential disaster that could wipe out wild salmon or at least many of the runs we enjoy here in the Pacific Northwest. Our friends in Washington state are getting nervous as they should be.
We must be The Wild Salmon Department!
Update, July 19, 2013 from Eddie Gardner and the Salmon Feedlot Boycott;
“We are proceeding with the Boycott Rally at Superstore in Chilliwack on August 1, 2013 at noon and everyone is welcome to join us. We will have more flyers to distribute to customers that point to the high toxins/comtaminants in Farmed Atlantic salmon and urging them to contact Superstore to ask for the removal of farmed salmon from their shelves across Canada.
Wild salmon need our help now, so if you can help spread the word and seek more support, the better chance we will have for a break through in getting a major chain store to join the boycott! The more people from different towns to get them the message, the more powerful!
All the best,
Contact Eddie at email@example.com
For more viewpoints and events, listen to Wild Salmon Warrior Radio, with host and artist Jay Peachy, Tuesdays 10:30AM. Begins July 2 on CJSF 90.1FM or online at cjsf.ca
Adam S. Sealey is passionate about wild salmon having grown up in places like the Discovery Islands where salmon farms are having a serious impact on the survival and health of migrating wild salmon young. He supports people like Twyla Roscovich, also from the Discovery Islands region who place wild salmon health above Norwegian corporate and crown owned salmon farming corporations. Adam believes that this is a struggle for life itself and that we can prevail on this issue. He can be reached via Common Ground at firstname.lastname@example.org