Remember the CFIA, that official Canadian Food Inspection agency, that was so concerned about wiping out a flock of heritage Shropshire sheep a few weeks back? Well maybe that wasn’t such an isolated incident. What can we make of this latest development on the food safety front? Is this a real problem that’s being covered up? To protect what, short term business prospects of continuing to sell more salmon in the supermarkets? And for that, they’re willing to scupper the international credentials of a university science lab? Is this is a government agenda, rogue “regulators”, or what? Are we still living in Canada?
“A lab that revealed the first evidence of an infectious virus in British Columbia salmon should be stripped of its international credentials, according to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
In a letter to the World Organization for Animal Health, the CFIA urges the international agency to accept the findings of an independent audit that recommends “suspension of the reference laboratory status,” of the facility.
The lab is run by Frederick Kibenge at the Atlantic Veterinary College-University of Prince Edward Island.
The CFIA has long maintained infectious salmon anemia is not present on the West Coast. If the disease is confirmed by the government, it could lead to export restrictions on B.C. salmon.
The agency has promised to sample nearly 8,000 salmon in B.C. in response to concerns about ISA. But the results of those tests are not yet known, and the CFIA has challenged the validity of Dr. Kibenge’s tests, saying government labs couldn’t replicate his results.
The letter has surprised other experts, who worry the government is trying to silence a scientist whose findings the CFIA disputes.
“This is stunning news,” said Rick Routledge, a professor at Simon Fraser University, who sent the lab samples that showed a ISA virus was present on the Pacific coast. “This comes as a shock. . . my head is spinning. I had no idea they would take it that far,” he said.
Prof. Routledge said the CFIA was “placed in a very awkward situation” when Dr. Kibenge’s lab reported positive hits for the ISA virus in salmon collected at Rivers Inlet, on B.C.’s Central Coast.
Brian Evans, chief food safety officer for the CFIA, has written to the World Organization for Animal Health, or OIE, requesting that the international body act in accordance with the audit findings, and “place the reference laboratory status at the Atlantic Veterinary College in abeyance.”…”