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Dec 8, 2016

Activist journalists, NGOs continue disinformation campaign against approved, fast-growing GMO salmon

There is a growing body of evidence pointing to the safety, utility and necessity of precision breeding (aka genetic modification) in agri-food products. Yet anti-biotech forces continue to claim that precision-bred organisms–the recently approved GMO salmon the latest example–are bad for people, bad for the environment and are unnecessary. Consider the recent writings of Marc Montgomery, a Canadian journalist who relentlessly features the sensationalist scare claims of anti-GMO activists.  His latest piece featured on RCI–Radio Canada International–is introduced with an overtly biased headline: “Another setback in fight against GM salmon”. The piece goes on to feature lengthy statements by well known biotechnology opponents, including the policy director of the anti-GMO Ecology Action Centre, a non-profit NGO based in Halifax Nova Scotia, and a lawyer from Ecojustice whose attempt to block final approval of the salmon was recently rejected by a Canadian Federal Court of Appeals. “Rather than adhering to the precautionary principle, our clients believe the Ministers approved uses of this genetically-modified food animal that were not subject to a science-based risk assessment despite the potential for serious risks to the environment and wild Atlantic salmon in the event of an accidental escape,” Montgomery quoted Ecojustice lawyer Kaitlyn Mitchell. Those claims were reviewed and rejected by both Canadian and American authorities. Montgomery’s piece did not quote from the decision nor interview any independent science– just ideological opponents to all biotech innovations. Relentless in his attacks on the AquAdvantage salmon. Montgomery also failed to acknowledge the substantial body of literature contradicting his claims. This pattern of circulating biased data and scare reports disguised as independent journalism has become all too familiar over the past few years, and has escalated more recently in the wake of regulatory approvals in Canada and the United States. Read the article.

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