Request for public hearings on proposed GM salmon factory

See also: Press Release – May 11, 2017: PEI groups call for public hearings on proposed GM salmon factory. Earth Action, Council of Canadians – PEI Chapter, Mackillop Centre for Social Justice

May 11, 2017
Premier of Prince Edward Island, MacLauchlan

Dear Premier Wade MacLauchlan,

We are requesting that before a decision is made by your government on AquaBounty’s application to operate a fish factory to produce the world’s first genetically modified animal for human consumption, government organize an Island-wide public consultation process to find out if Islanders think this development would be good for PEI.

The radical, and surprise, shift from AquaBounty’s initial proposal to rear non-GM Atlantic salmon in Rollo Bay to something entirely different, could have negative consequences for PEI’s image and consequently the economy. The new proposal was sprung on Islanders without warning and without a process to talk about what it means for the province.

The only option people have to comment is via the environmental impact assessment process. This process is totally inadequate given the sudden change in AquaBounty’s plans for the Rollo Bay site. AquaBounty’s Environmental Impact Statement is a technical document requiring technical expertise beyond most Islanders, especially in the absence of intervener funding to hire experts.

In any case, the proposal to locate a GM fish factory in PEI is more than just a run-of-the-mill business proposition. There are many more concerns and questions, besides the environmental impact of the facility, that need to be publicly discussed, including potentially serious economic impacts. The approval process should be slowed down in order to allow for a public consultation process.

Thank you for your consideration.
Sharon Labchuk, Earth Action
Mary Boyd, Mackillop Centre for Social Justice
Leo Broderick, Council of Canadians – PEI Chapter