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How to Avoid Eating GM Salmon

Am I unknowingly eating genetically engineered salmon?

Maybe.

Updated September 2018

If you ate farmed salmon sometime after June 6th 2017, you could have eaten the world’s first genetically modified (GM or genetically engineered) food animal – a GM Atlantic salmon.

Farm Boy sign

Picture taken at the seafood counter at a Farm Boy store in Ottawa, June 2018

The GM Atlantic salmon are not labelled as genetically modified and the first sale was made in Canada without a public announcement. The sale of GM salmon happened in June but was only made public on August 4, 2017.

CBAN confirmed that 4.5 metric tonnes of GM salmon was sold into Quebec in June 2017. We have also confirmed that some was sold in grocery stores, but that most of the GM salmon was sold for food service. This means it could have been sold in restaurants or at institutions like universities and hospitals that rely on catering companies.

Import documents show that a shipment of 1.5 tonnes of GM salmon likely went to Ontario in February 2018.

Here’s what we know:

If I want to avoid eating GM salmon, what salmon should I buy?

If the GM salmon is not labelled, how can I trust my grocery stores’ statement that they are not selling it at their seafood counter?

All of Canada’s major grocery chains have told CBAN that they have no plans to sell the GM salmon: Costco, Federated Co-operatives Ltd, IGA (Owned by Sobeys), Loblaw, Longo’s, Metro, Overwaitea Food Groups, Sobeys, Walmart Canada; and Metro, Sobeys, Wal-Mart and Loblaws also confirmed that they did not sell the GM salmon last year.

Grocery stores can ask their suppliers to only sell them non-GM salmon. Grocery stores and other food companies have a lot of power to source non-GM salmon and other non-GM products. They have access to the people who could buy salmon directly from the GM fish company.

Also, at the moment, Panama is the only country where the GM salmon is being produced. This makes it even easier to grocery stores and other companies to ensure they are not buying GM salmon: Companies can avoid buying salmon from Panama, and Canada actually buys very little salmon from Panama.

The current statements from grocery stores mostly apply to seafood counters: click here to see the exact statements.You can also check here to see which companies own your local store and find contact information.

Which companies say they are not selling GM salmon?

Click here for the list of grocery stores in Canada that say they have no plans to sell the GM salmon.

Also, the foodservice company Sodexo asks for non-GM animals only.

Click here for more information about the GM salmon.