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Fighting the fish: activists meet P.E.I. minister about GMO salmon

A group of activists meets with Environment Minister Robert Mitchell about approval for GMO salmon AquaBounty facility in Rollo Bay


Published on July 14, 2017

Activists Sharon Labchuk, left, Tony Reddin and Mary Boyd gather for a photo after meeting with Environment Minister Robert Mitchell in Charlottetown this week.

©THE GUARDIAN/Ryan Ross

The P.E.I. government has given environmental approval to a genetically modified salmon facility, but it could still take steps to stop production, says a local environmentalist.

Sharon Labchuk, a co-ordinator with environmental group Earth Action, said the people who attended the meeting told Environment Minister Robert Mitchell as much during a meeting with him on July 11.

“The province has authority through various regulations and the law to make decisions that could impact AquaBounty’s plans for its fish factory,” she said.

In June, the provincial government approved AquaBounty Canada Inc.’s application to expand its facility in Rollo Bay where it will grow genetically modified salmon.

Labchuk, Mary Boyd, who is with the Mackillop Centre for Social Justice, and Tony Reddin with the Council of Canadians met with Mitchell to discuss the recent environmental approval.

An attempt to reach Mitchell for an interview about the meeting was unsuccessful, but a spokeswoman for his department sent a statement confirming with met with the group.

“I clarified that the federal government has jurisdiction over GMOs and I assured the group that the role of my department was to oversee the environmental impact assessment that includes such things as groundwater and wastewater assessments,” Mitchell said in the statement.