The leader of the P.E.I. (Canada) Green, party says he is concerned about the “regulatory acrobatics” that has led to the approval of a controversial facility that plans to grow genetically modified salmon in Prince Edward Island instead of Panama/
Last month, the provincial government approved an application by AquaBounty Canada Inc. to expand its current facility in Rollo Bay by building two 40,000-square foot structures where the company will rear AquaAdvantage salmon, a sterile genetically modified salmon, from eyed egg to market size says a Toronto Star report.
Many were surprised by the application, as the company originally said its plans would only involve producing the salmon eggs in P.E.I. and then shipping them to Panama to grow to full size. They were to be processed into fillets in Panama and then sent back to Canada for sale.
Green Leader Peter Bevan-Baker says the fact this change in plans did not require a whole new environmental assessment is a case of “regulatory acrobatics.”
Bevan-Baker says he is also concerned about the amount of taxpayer money that has been handed to the company.
Bevan-Baker says he believes the company is large enough to fund its own operations.
“The fact that government is willing to give so much taxpayers’ dollars to something which, I have instinctive concerns about, is troubling,” Bevan-Baker said.
“The money behind this organization is considerable. And it’s my personal opinion that they should be able to fund all R&D without any public funds being put in there.”
He says he has heard from a number of nearby residents who have concerns about the facility, notably about the pre-existing deep-water wells the company acquired when it purchased the property in Rollo Bay.
Environmental advocacy groups from across Canada were in P.E.I. last week and called on Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna to halt the development of the AquaBounty facility until more study and consultation has been held on the environmental and ethical concerns involved in growing genetically modified animals.