Is your dinner diseased? Tell supermarkets to stop selling diseased farm salmon.
Since last October I am doing the government's job - testing British Columbia farm salmon in supermarkets for viruses.
To date I have found 3 quite nasty European salmon viruses that government tells us are not here - salmon flu virus, salmon Alpavirus and the salmon heart virus.
These viruses are following the industrial Atlantic salmon farming industry wherever it operates around the world. It is dangerous to wild salmon, the oceans and our health to allow viruses to mutate and escape into new environments and infect new species.
People deserve the right to make informed choices about their food.
The BC goverment plans to introduce a law that would make it illegal to publicly report viruses in farm fish and other farm animals. We were sucessful in delaying BC Bill 37 Animal Health Act, but that could change as soon as the BC Parliament sits again this summer. My work will be silenced if that happens. So I am asking you to consider signing this petition now.
Supermarket chain Overwaitea has stopped selling netpen farm salmon, but Costco, Loblaws, and Safeway continue.
If government is going to ignore this, it is up to us:
1) Sign my petition asking these large grocery chains to refuse to sell salmon that have tested positive for disease.
2) Then ask everyone you know to sign on as well.
I have studied the impact of industrial salmon farms since 1995, publishing many papers, featured in the New York Times, Seattle Times and documentaries for this work. It is clear that hundreds of thousands of farmed salmon crowded into pens in the ocean are breeding grounds for sea lice, bacteria and viruses. Crowded feedlots do cause pathogens to become more lethal.
In the wild, predators remove contagious fish as soon as they get sick and so wild salmon population stay healthy. In salmon farms, the sick fish keep shedding disease until they are dead. This is extremely dangerous to the wild salmon and we have to learn not to allow disease to mutate in farm animals - we only need look at the recent swine and avian flu viruses.
In 2007 the European salmon flu (ISA virus) went 'viral’ in Chile, causing $2 billion in damages. We have strong scientific evidence to suggest that farm salmon viruses have led to the loss of millions, if not tens of millions, of wild salmon in British Columbia, Canada.
If you were buying infected salmon, you would want to know, right? We have the power to protect wild salmon and ourselves from farm salmon viruses.
There is much more on my blog: www.alexandramorton.typepad.com
I am a biologist in British Columbia who came here to study whales, but today I am testing farm salmon in your markets for disease. I have received positive test results for a virulent salmon flu virus (ISAv), as well as, a virus that causes heart failure in farm salmon (piscine reovirus) and a virus the causes Pancreas Disease in salmon (Salmon Alphavirus). ISA influenza virus, first detected in Norway has spread globally through Norway, Scotland, eastern Canada and Chile in Atlantic salmon farms. The piscine reovirus weakens fish heart muscle and is known to spread like “wildfire.” Chile is trying to keep Salmon Alphavirus out of its ocean, but here in BC government is ignoring test results, even from their own lab.
Although we are told these viruses cannot reproduce in human body temperatures, we also know that flu viruses mutate in feedlots and have a history of becoming dangerous, so we want to know when we are taking that risk. We want to know that you are not going to sell diseased farm salmon.
No one knows what these powerful Atlantic salmon viruses will do to the wild salmon of the Pacific; they are unpredictable. In Chile, ISA virus became more virulent and spread faster than was known possible.
The Province of British Columbia, stated last March that the US threatened border closures in response to my first test results. Today, the government of BC is preparing to pass legislation to make it a punishable offense to report viruses in salmon from a known source.
Right now salmon farms in BC and the US are testing positive for the IHN virus. Some have destroyed their fish others continue to raise their fish for market.
We don't want to eat salmon with potentially dangerous viruses. Please take them off the shelves immediately, and protect public health.