An appeal by two environmental groups to Canadian Federal Courts to halt the production of genetically modified (GM) salmon has taken a beating. Hundreds of thousands of consumers will now have to figure out if their stores are selling the GM fish. [1]

The Ecology Action Centre of Halifax and the Living Oceans Society in B.C. filed the appeal against AquaBounty and the federal ministers of health and environment.

The court dismissed both the allegations that the environmental groups made, including:

  • That the Environment Minister failed to comply with the Environmental Protection Act with the publication of a notice of significant new activity in the Canada Gazette.
  • That both ministers failed to obtain and assess legally-required information for a toxicity assessment.

“This should allay any remaining fears consumers may have about our fish,” said AquaBounty CEO Ron Stotish. But the concern is hardly squashed.

More than 2 million people commented on the US Food and Drug Administration’s ‘open comment’ page saying that they did not want GM salmon, which would potentially put ecosystems and species such as wild salmon at risk. Now federal courts in both the U.S. and Canada are refusing to listen to consumers’ rights about eating non-GM food.

The FDA says that the fish is just as safe to eat as conventional salmon, but the agency also claims there is no difference between GM crops like corn and soy to their non-GM counterparts, and this has been proven to be patently untrue (given that GM crops may cause cancerous tumors, reproductive problems, and endocrine system disruption, among other concerns).

The true risks of GM salmon in both the environment, and to human health have been grossly underestimated. [2]

This article originally appeared at Natural Society.


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