Salmon virus uproar draws Canadian anger

December 7, 2011 

Scientist technician Laurie Niewolny places kidney and spleen samples from a chinook salmon into a centrifuge as she prepares them to be tested for viruses at the Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife virology and bacteriology lab Oct. 18, 2011, in Olympia, Wash. Scientists in Washington state are concerned about a deadly, contagious virus said to have been detected in wild salmon in British Columbia.

ELAINE THOMPSON / ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the minister of Fisheries and Oceans insist there are no confirmed cases of infectious salmon anemia in farmed or wild salmon tested by Canadian scientists and there is nothing to panic about, reports the Juneau Empire.

"In recent years, over 5,000 fresh, properly collected and stored samples have been tested and there has never been a confirmed case of ISA in British Columbia salmon," said Keith Ashfield, Canada's Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

"After Canada's reputation has needlessly been put at risk over the past several weeks because of speculation and unfounded science, additional in-depth, conclusive tests, using proper and internationally recognized procedures, are now complete and we can confirm that there has never been a confirmed case of ISA in BC salmon, wild or farmed."

Canada's statement comes a week after information was released that the Canadian government may have hidden evidence of a scientist's discovery of more than 100 farmed Atlantic salmon infected with a similar virus in B.C. waters 10 years ago.

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