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Anti-farmed salmon campaigner Don Staniford and Friends of Clayoquot Sound (FOCS) have claimed that BC-based Creative Salmon is being “exposed” by information supplied by the Ministry of Environment (MoE) as a “liar and a consumer fraud” for stating that its salmon “has never been fed antibiotic”. Creative Salmon’s General Manager Spencer Evans told SeafoodIntelligence.com that Mr Staniford did not cross-check nor read the information properly. Creative re-emphasises that it has indeed “never” used antibiotics with fish destined to the market; but did use some – under licence – for its broodstock (which are not destined for consumption). “This is not an attempt to mislead or 'scam'. Our website is designed with a focus in part on marketing towards potential customers and information for current customers of Creative Salmon,” he said. Furthermore the implication that FOCS would have found this information as a result of some sort of ‘investigation’ is misleading as the company has been providing the government with the information as part of routine & ongoing annual reporting agreement/protocol.
Mr Evans says that Mr Staniford, FOCS aquaculture campaigner, is stating information from its website but that he also missed the statement: "Creative Salmon is pleased to offer it's customers naturally raised Chinook (King) salmon that has never been fed antibiotics.", i.e. that the information is relating to its salmon destined to be consumed; not to those which aren’t, such as the broodstock.
Mr Staniford issued a press release on Monday (June 27th) announcing that FOCS is lodging a formal complaint against Creative Salmon with Canada’s Competition Bureau under the Deceptive Marketing Practices part of the Competition Act. The press release stated that: “[…] Data on chemical use in Clayoquot Sound were obtained by Friends of Clayoquot Sound last week [Week 25] under Canada's Freedom of Information laws. The MoE documents, dated 20th June 2005, reveal that during 2004 nearly a quarter of a tonne of antibiotics (245.01 kg) were used by Creative Salmon in the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
"Japanese-funded Creative Salmon is being dangerously creative in its definition of 'organic' salmon farming,” said Mr Staniford. "[...] its reputation has been well and truly shattered with the Ministry of the Environment's ****ing revelations of antibiotic use," he said.
"If Creative Salmon is telling such blatant lies, how is the public expected to believe the company's claims to be 'organic'?" Staniford said. "By discharging contaminated wastes, Creative is endangering the pristine marine environment of Clayoquot Sound. And by making spurious claims to be 'green', it is endangering the reputation of honest local business people who depend on the integrity of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve."
Far from the truth, says Creative Salmon’s General Manager Spencer Evans
“This is not an attempt to mislead or 'scam'. Our website is designed with a focus in part on marketing towards potential customers and information for current customers of Creative Salmon. The fish that are destined for market are antibiotic free and have never been fed antibiotic (since Oct 17, 2001),” Evans told SeafoodIntelligence.com
“The small amount of medication that Staniford quotes was used in broodstock. […] “Our broodstock never have been destined for market. Because of increased handling and sorting broodstock have to deal with more stress then our market fish and as such are sometimes treated with antibiotic to maintain health (under prescription from a licensed veterinarian).
“We state in the Pacific Organic Seafood Association standards (that we follow) that antibiotic use in broodstock is allowed but regulated.
Creative Salmon (and its 100 staff) - perhaps the most proactive company in Canada in its attempts to raise organic salmon (as opposed to Europe, there are currently no approved standards) - is going through very tough times (notably, following the negative press) following its voluntary suspension last week of all sales following the discovery of malachite green in some fish. It is adamant it has never used the chemical.
SeafoodIntelligence.com reported yesterday that the same chemical had equally been found in wild Pacific chinook salmon. If indeed MG is found in the environment as a by-product of the paper and pulp/milling industry, this could explain the Creative Salmon situation and would perhaps prompt 'environmentalists' to have a look at the real issue.
What would happen if malachite green was found in some wild-caught Pacific salmon sold in Vancouver, Seattle or New York?