Attached was ATA's early response to the issue. Unfortunately, we still don't know much more than we did at that time. And while it makes sense that governments would use caution not to alarm the public before they know the extent of a problem, it's really frustrating that Canada is not more transparent about what they're doing to investigate the question. At least we'd get some assurance that it mattered to them, eh?
One thing that surfaced recently is that ISA was isolated in some of the GE modified salmon. Not surprising, since ISA has been quite an issue for East Coast salmon farmers as you read in the story above. However, a huge problem is that the GE developers were aware of this finding, but didn't tell FDA prior to its 2009 veterinary committee hearing on GE salmon. Guess they just didn't find it relevant. Wonder how a modified salmon reacts to various diseases - same, different, some of both? Hmmmm....
Now it's really important to put disease into context. Humans and fish are fending off disease 24/7 - that's just biology. ISA might even be a naturally occurring disease on the Pacific Coast that we hadn't seen in the past, simply because we haven't looked for it. But the agencies need to suss that out and let us know the verdict - natural disease, or farmed-raised?
I see one good thing here... it's a reminder of what's important. Fish need clean, abundant habitat to avoid stress and reduce their susceptibility to disease. Logic would suggest that it's also a good idea to avoid planting dozens of fish farms along their migratory paths, which tend to be breeding grounds for a host of parasites, bacteria, and viruses, all just waiting to hop aboard unsuspecting, transiting fish. Let's continue to urge the governments to investigate the ISA findings, and also to take a more fish friendly attitude towards the policies governing land and water use.
Fish worship is NOT wrong...
- Kelley Op Ed on BC ISA 102311b.pdf
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