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March 13, 2012

Mail from Alex Morton - ISA virus positive salmon bought in several BC supermarkets

If you want to see these testings continue then please donate - it's essential to know what is in our "so called food" these day and it seems like this is the only way to really find out!!!

ISA virus in BC Supermarkets and Vedder River

Today I received ISA virus positive test results from the international ISA virus OIE Reference labin eastern Canada.
The ISA virus positive fish were 5 Atlantic salmon I purchased from three different T & T supermarkets around the lower mainland and one chum salmon from the Vedder River. There is no evidence ISA virus harms humans.
These samples were in much better condition than the Rivers Inlet sockeye smolts that tested positive last year, and so further testing is underway to sequence the virus. Once completed this will better inform us of where this virus is coming from.
When my colleagues and I got ISA virus positive test results last December, the BC Minister of Agriculture and Lands, Don McRae said: “Reckless allegations based on incomplete science can be devastating to these communities and unfair to the families that make a living from the sea. Since Premier Clark is currently on a trade mission to China, I have personally asked her to reassure our valued trading partners that now as always BC can be relied upon as a supplier of safe, sustainable seafood..” Now we have ISA virus positive results from a Chinese supermarket chain in BC. The gills were intact in these fish and from speaking with the people behind the seafood counter we believe these fish were reared in BC marine feedlots. The CFIA will be able to tell us where they came from, or perhaps the market will let us know. If these fish were shipped in from outside BC they should not have had the gills left in them.
Last December the Minister of Fisheries, Keith Ashfield, accused us of putting Canada's reputation needlessly at risk because we made ISA virus lab results public. We went public in hopes others would begin the work to track this virus and learn more about it.

Dr. Gary Marty the Province of BC fish farm vet said last week: "This gives us a high degree of confidence that our salmon do not have known strains of ISAV." I don't know how I can buy 29 Atlantic salmon and come up with 5 positive results while Gary can't find it in the thousands of tests he has done. This does not make sense to me.
We know from the Cohen ISA virus hearings last December that DFO failed to produce a draft paper that reported 100% of Cultus Lake sockeye tested were positive for ISA virus in 2002/3. The Vedder River where we sampled the ISAv positive chum salmon is attached to Cultus Lake.Download Exh 2045 - 29. CCI001528.pdf (2183.9K) Instead of following up on these tests, they let this virus wander around the river, doing who knows what.
Greg McDade, lawyer at Cohen, saw this as a coverup because DFO had been instructed by Justice Cohen to produce all documents relating to the health of Fraser sockeye. Findings of the most lethal virus in the most endangered Fraser sockeye run certainly should have been among the .5 million documents produced. Download 08 - Aquaculture Coalition Submissions re ISAV-corrected.PDF (249.8K)
The proper protocols have been followed here, this announcement follows a press release from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Detection of the virus does not mean the fish have the disease, similar to being HIV positive does not mean you have AIDS.
There is strong evidence this virus is European strain.
Below are photographs of the fish that tested positive for ISA virus. Please donate at the bottom of the page if you want us to continue testing. I remain hopeful a University, or Dr. Miller's lab will take over this work so that the public can get some honest answers here and decide whether we want these European viruses in our fish and food or not.
Atlantic salmon that tested positive for ISA virus from T&T supermarkets
T&T 3
T&T 23sm
T&T 25sm
Chum salmon from Vedder River
VR5 - Chum sm
VR gills sm
I don't know why no one else in the private sector is doing this work. If you want to see us continue please donate. If you donate via Pay Pal, it will say "adopt-a-fry." That was our first effort, to medevac young wild salmon around the salmon feedlots, which DFO did not permit. Just ignore the heading, your money will go to further testing.

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