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Canada Rules Ministers' Decision to Approve GM Salmon Production Correct

Salmonids Breeding & genetics Economics +3 more

CANADA - The Federal Court in Canada has ruled that the Ministers of Environment and Health decision to allow production of AquaBounty's AquAdvantage GM Salmon in Canada for commercial use was reasonable and made in the manner prescribed by the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, SC 1999, c 33 [CEPA].

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Accordingly, the Court dismissed the entire application brought before it by the Ecology Action Centre and Living Oceans Society.

Ronald L. Stotish, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of AquaBounty, commented: “We are delighted but not surprised that the Federal Court of Canada has agreed with the Ministers of Environment and Health of Canada that our salmon eggs are not harmful to the environment or human health when produced in contained facilities. This should allay any remaining fears consumers may have about our fish. The ruling also affirms that Canada has one of the most stringent regulatory systems in the world.”

As stated in announcement of 23 November 2013, Environment Canada, the agency of the Government of Canada with responsibility for regulating environmental policies and issues, recognized that the Company’s hatchery, which produces sterile, all-female eggs, is no longer solely a research facility but can produce eggs on a commercial scale without harm to the environment or human health. It made its conclusion following a risk assessment conducted by Fisheries and Oceans Canada involving a panel of independent scientific experts knowledgeable in the fields of transgenics and fish containment technology.

The Court ruling follows the announcement of 19 November 2015 that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the Company’s New Animal Drug Application for the production, sale, and consumption of its AquAdvantage® Salmon that has been genetically enhanced to reach market size in less time than conventional farmed Atlantic salmon.

“We are motivated by our desire to bring to market the most sustainably raised, healthy and nutritious food to consumers and to satisfy the needs of an ever-increasing population. This decision will allow us to move forward to deliver this goal,” said Ron Stotish.