As much as I enjoy/will take shots at elected folks for their "inadequacies", I also have to give credit when it is due.
Fisheries Minister Keith Colwell has stepped up and made a statement, in an article in the Chronicle Herald, that I not only hope he is genuine about, but that he sticks to his guns on. Here is the article I'm referring too:
Nova Scotia says no to genetically modified fish
ANDREA GUNN | OTTAWA BUREAU
Published May 20, 2016 - 8:21pm
Last Updated May 20, 2016 - 8:22pm
Provincial fisheries minister rejects production of eggs, wants no GMO connection
Production of genetically modified fish will not be welcome in Nova Scotia any time soon, according to provincial fisheries minister Keith Colwell.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency on Thursday gave the green light to supermarkets to sell a type of fast-growing genetically modified salmon being developed by U.S.-based AquaBounty. Colwell told the Chronicle Herald Friday that the province is working on policy to officially ban the farming of GM fish here.
“We really don’t want any connection with the GMO salmon. We have a system that works in the province now and that works very well, and we don’t want to interfere with something that works very well,” Colwell said.
Salmon are the first genetically modified animal to be approved for human consumption in Canada. The U.S. gave them the okay in November.
AquaBounty has one facility in Canada, in Bay Fortune, P.E.I. where the eggs are produced and a farm in Panama where the fish mature into adults. Colwell said his government would not allow even the production of eggs in Nova Scotia.
“We’re more interested in making sure we protect what we have,” he said. “Until someone can prove to us and to the public that this will be a good idea — and I don’t see much support anywhere for this — we’re not interested.”
Colwell also said he is concerned about the impact accidentally introducing genetically engineered fish would have on natural populations from both an ecological and sport fishing standpoint.
Meanwhile, fish farmers in Nova Scotia are wary but not overly worried about the impact of introducing modified fish into the market.
Susan Farquharson, executive director of the Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association doesn’t think people are interested in buying GM fish where other options are available, and said she believes the markets will make that clear.
“The same decision was made back in November in the U.S. and we still don’t see consumer demand for the AquaBounty products. In fact I think you’re seeing the exact opposite. We know what the demands are, we’ve been helping supply that global demand for decades. We know our consumers want a healthy sustainable product,” she said.
Keith Havercroft, CEO of Queens County-based salmon farming operation Sustainable Blue, said because of his company’s strong branding he is not worried with people confusing his product for genetically modified salmon,. But with no regulations in Canada mandating GMOs be labelled it’s something consumers should be concerned about.
In response to Thursday’s announcement, Nova Scotia’s Ecology Action Centre, which is one of the plaintiffs involved in a lawsuit against the U.S. government over the FDA’s approval of genetically modified salmon, issued a press release calling for mandatory labelling of all genetically modified food in Canada and a boycott of AquaBounty fish by supermarkets.
South Shore-St. Margarets MP Bernadette Jordan said she stands behind the decision to approve genetically modified salmon for human consumption due to strong scientific evidence that it is safe, but said she understands concerns in the aquaculture community.
Jordan said she hopes labelling of GM food is something that is considered by the agriculture committee in future debate.
“It’s my understanding, this product is not going to market for at least a year and a half, so they do have some time to look at those concerns they’re hearing.”
Bravo Mr. Colwell. You have made a small step forward in beginning to manage the Aquaculture mess. "No" should be a term used more frequently with regard to this industry.
However, I am concerned with your assertion that, "We have a system that works in the province now and that works very well, and we don’t want to interfere with something that works very well,” (WTF?)
Are we discussing the same (aquaculture) system?
Hey, let's not ruin a moment with something stupid like your take on our aquaculture dealio.
Mr. Colwell has stepped out and stated that we don't want the Frankenfish here.
I think that's what he's saying anyway and (for now) I'll give him credit for not sending AquaBounty hand written invitations on Provincial stationary.
Oh, by the way, the fact that the above article on this topic seemed to state that the fish would be raised in Panama is not lost on me either. But, the Minister said no to something aquaculture and quite scary so we give him points for trying.