It was May 19, 2016, less than one year ago, that AquaBounty proposed to purchase a facility at Rollo Bay PEI “to rear conventional Atlantic Salmon broodstock for egg production purposes.” In the company’s 2016 Environmental Impact Statement to the PEI government the company stated several times that they would not use the facility to grow their GM salmon. However, in April 2017, the company proposed the exact opposite in an amended 2017 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
In 2016, included in public comments responding to the original EIS, was a letter from Leo Broderick of the Council of Canadians Prince Edward Island who said: “We are not convinced that GM salmon will not end up at the new Rollo Bay site and we have concerns that the issue of salmon eggs or salmon escaping are not addressed adequately in this document.” Mr. Broderick was right.
In AquaBounty’s 2016 Environmental Impact Statement there is: APPENDIX D Questions/Comments and Associated Answers/Responses from Public and Technical Review Committee which contains the following three responses from AquaBounty:
Question 22: Please confirm that no GMO salmon, including eggs, will be present at the Rollo Bay facility at any time. Please provide details on the safeguards that will be in place to ensure that no GMO salmon, including eggs, are inadvertently transferred to the new facility
Response: The proposed facility at Rollo Bay West will have no GMO salmon. The Rollo Bay West facility will be used for non-transgenic salmon egg production purposes. Populations of non-transgenic fish are maintained in Fortune using pedigree, inventory controls, and genotype testing.
Question 23: Please provide details on the Federal enforcement and inspection procedures, including the responsible agency that will be implemented to ensure that no GMO salmon are present at the new facility
Response: The facility will not have GMO salmon present on the site-egg rearing facility only. As stated in section 2.1 the Aqua Bounty Fortune facility has been inspected by USFDA and Environment Canada and found to meet the standards of these organizations. As outlined in Section 1.4 (Table 1-3) of the EIS report the operation will be permitted under CFIA and DFO requirements and the operation will be subject to inspections by those organizations.The facility is designed as a hatchery and is thus not set up to store larger fish.
There is no Federal enforcement responsible for ensuring GMO salmon are not at the new location. However, Aqua Bounty will inform Environment Canada (EC) of the acquisition and will invite representatives of EC and PEIDCLE to the new facility for a tour of the premises.
Question 28: Please clarify if the “eyed eggs” referred to in Section 3.3.1, Use of Facility are GMO eggs.
Response: There are no GMO activities occurring at the proposed facility. The salmon and associated eggs are not GMO.