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Genetically modified salmon. (Photo: Stock File)

Court of Appeal upholds GM salmon approval

Click on the flag for more information about Canada CANADA
Tuesday, October 25, 2016, 02:10 (GMT + 9)

The Federal Court of Appeal in Canada has upheld the approval of genetically modified salmon produced by AquaBounty Technologies Inc, after dismissing an appeal brought by ecological organisations.

Such an appeal had been brought by Ecojustice on behalf of the Ecology Action Centre and Living Oceans Society against Canada’s Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Minister of Health and the company.

The Court also ordered the appellants to pay one set of costs to the respondent Ministers and one set of costs to AquaBounty.

The dismissal of the appeal means that the Ministers of Environment and Health were correct to allow production of AquAdvantage® Salmon in Canada for commercial use stands.

Official documents show the Federal Court had ruled that the Ministers had arrived at a decision that was “reasonable and made in the manner prescribed by the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, SC 1999, c 33.

As stated In May this year, Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has also approved AquAdvantage Salmon for production, sale and consumption in Canada.

“We welcome the decision made by the Court of Appeal. We thank the Ministries of Canada who were extraordinarily thorough and transparent in the review and approval of AquaBounty’s applications,” pointed out Ronald L. Stotish, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of AquaBounty.

Stotish stated that they had always maintained that their AquAdvantage Salmon are sustainably raised, healthy and a nutritious food and that they will now focus on advancing their business plan and preparing to launch their product.

Environmental groups had decided to challenge the Court’s ruling that approved GM salmon, claiming that the whole approval process had taken place behind doors and that there had been no engagement of Canadians, CBC News reported.

While awaiting for the Court of Appeal's ruling, Karen Wristen, of B.C.'s Living Oceans Society, one of the groups involved in the challenge, expressed concerns about what would happen if genetically modified salmon escape and start breeding with wild salmon.

AquaBounty's shares increased by 40 per cent after the Court's ruling was released.

Related articles:

- AquaBounty GM salmon approved for human consumption
- Environmentalists worry about GMO salmon approval for human consumption

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