On Saturday, August 9, 2014, people from Chilliwack, Abbotsford, and as far away as Richmond and Langley converged at the Superstore in Mission BC to participate in the boycott of net-pen farmed Atlantic salmon. Armed with posters, signs and information pamphlets, the boycott crew reached out to many customers raising their awareness about the contamination levels in farmed Atlantic salmon, as well as the adverse impacts salmon farms have on both the marine environment and wild salmon stocks.
Prior to the boycott, Terry Wilkinson, who coordinated the rally, went to see the Superstore manager to inform him about the boycott. The manager told her she needed head office permission, otherwise the boycott would not be allowed. Terry replied that she was not asking anyone for permission, she was only letting him know out of courtesy that we would be showing up to do the peaceful rally as we do monthly at supermarkets in the Fraser Valley.
Ask Superstore to put proper labels on “Farmed Atlantic Salmon.”
Terry was shocked to see a sign ORGANIC FOODS above the Superstore seafood section where fish were being sold without even indicating whether the fish was farmed or wild. She could detect the Atlantic salmon was farmed by the wide fat bars and the unhealthy appearance of this product. When she confronted the store manager about this, he simply said he was not going to discuss this with her. Since Terry said we would be showing up without permission from head office to do the boycott, he did accept the information pamphlet she offered him. She revisited the store latter and noticed they took the large sign ORGANIC down from the seafood section, and there was a label that indicated some of the fish was “farmed” Atlantic salmon. Some had a label “ Organics Certified by Ecocert Canada.” Proper labeling, we have found out is a huge issue as consumers have a right to know what they are putting down their throats. Terry Wilkinson took further action by writing to Ecocert Groupe, with the message that she noticed that Canadian Superstore in Mission is selling Atlantic Farmed Salmon as Organic, certified by Ecocert. Terry asked them to explain how farmed fish can possibly be certified as organic. She said this is a misnomer and obviously misleading and requested and explanation. Gilles Belle, Customer Service Coordinator of Ecocert requested more information on the product. Terry sent the picture below and has, to date, not heard from Ecocert. People can follow-up to press for an answer by writing to Gilles.BELLEY@ecocert.com.
Note wide fat bars and sickly appearance of this contaminated product. Don’t kid yourself, the label “Organics” is misleading!
Dangerously High Contamination Levels in Farmed Salmon
One wonders why any farmed Atlantic salmon would be certified as organic or sustainable given the very poor standing this industry has in the world. For example, in Medscape Multispecialty, an article was published entitled “Risk-Based Consumption Advice for Farmed Atlantic and Wild Pacific Salmon Contaminated with Dioxins and Dioxin-like Compounds (DLC).” The article states: “Many farmed Atlantic salmon contain dioxin concentrations that, when consumed at modest rates, pose elevated cancer and non-cancer health risks. However, dioxin and DLCs are just one suite of many organic and inorganic contaminants and contaminant classes in the tissues of farmed salmon (Foran et al. 2004; Hites et al. 2004a, 2004b), and the cumulative health risk of exposure to these compounds via consumption of farmed salmon is likely even higher. As we have shown here, modest consumption of farmed salmon contaminated with DLCs raises human exposure levels above the lower end of the WHO TDI, and considerably above background intake levels for adults in the United States.” The authors recommend that, to reduce dioxin-like compound intake and still gain the benefits of ingestion of omega-3 fatty acids, choose fish, including most wild salmon that have lower concentrations of DLCs or by eating other foods such as various nuts, oils and vegetables that are high in these healthy fats.
Boycott Team Celebrates at ABC Restaurant in Mission
Terry Wilkinson and others went to the ABC restaurant in Mission to congratulate this chain restaurant for having only wild salmon on their menu. It feels safe to dine in a restaurant that does not sell net-pen farmed salmon. We will be holding a bigger celebration of yet another chain of restaurants that does not sell ocean farmed Atlantic salmon. They are in good company with Ricki’s Restaurants, Bravo Restaurant and Lounge, White Spot, and Jackson’s Steak N Grill! There are more out there too! We understand that Ricki’s and ABC will merge together and there will be a continuation of the ethical standard of putting only wild salmon as opposed to net-pen farmed Atlantic salmon on the menu.
People in action – Making a Difference!
Glyn Lewis discusses health hazards of consuming net-pen farmed salmon with interested Superstore customer! Another customer chooses to avoid buying contaminated net-pen farmed Atlantic salmon!
Carolyn Quirt of Richmond reaches out to a mother to inform her about high contamination levels in net-pen farmed Atlantic salmon, and let’s her know health experts recommend people avoid this product.
Carolyn Quirt was busy at the boycott rally at the Mission Superstore raising public awareness about the false labeling of net-pen farmed Atlantic salmon! Thank you Carolyn!
Glyn Lewis connects with another mother who is happy to know about smart seafood choices for her family, and now will not buy net-pen farmed Atlantic salmon even though there is an Ecocert label on the package. Proper labeling is an issue we need to take up with Superstore until they do the ethical thing and simply use the label Farmed Atlantic Salmon. Thanks Glyn for being so active at the boycott!
We have a great team of active people helping at the rally – holding signs, drumming and singing and handing out professionally developed information pamphlets! At Mission, the following were part of the boycott rally: Tracy Lyster, Bobbie Jackson, Terry Wilkinson, Frank Superneault, Angela Brady, Michael Silverside, Gary Haggquist (photographer), Eddie Gardner, Glyn Lewis, Big Ron Moore and Carolyn Quirt! Thank you big Team! 🙂