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How to Avoid Eating GM Salmon

Am I unknowingly eat genetically engineered salmon?


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.

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 has confirmed that 4.5 metric tonnes of GM salmon was sold into Quebec in June 2017. We now know the exact dates that the GM salmon arrived in Quebec. 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.

The June 2017 shipment is the only shipment that we know of so far, i.e. no GM salmon has been sold since. The company could produce and sell more GM salmon in 2018.

Here’s what we know:

  • All genetically modified (GM) salmon is farmed salmon, and all Atlantic salmon is farmed salmon. There is no wild Atlantic salmon fishery because Atlantic salmon is an endangered species.
  • The GM salmon sold this year was produced (on land) in Panama.
  • Only 4.5 tonnes of GM salmon was sold in Canada so far. It was shipped in June (in five shipments on June 6, 9, 11, 12, and 16th). It was shipped as fresh fillets that have a 15-day shelf life.
  • The shipments all went into Quebec (they could have been sold into other provinces from there).
  • The GM fish was sold in five separate shipments: four went to foodservice companies and one went to a retailer.
  • CBAN secured statements from all the major grocery stores saying that they have no plans to sell it. These statements mostly refer to seafood counters.

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 stated that they have no plans to sell the GM salmon. 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. 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.