Friday, November 11, 2011

When up is down and down is up

BC Agriculture Minister Don McRae, coordinating with federal agencies, claimed last week there are no confirmed cases of Infectious Salmon Anaemia (ISA) in British Columbia salmon. Mcrae said,
"It is vitally important that we ignore and discredit science that gives results other than ones acceptable to BC's mostly Norwegian owned fish farms. We aim to protect BC's reputation as a supplier of farmed salmon to the world, regardless of how fish farms affect the west coast environment. In cooperation with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, we determined that by reducing resources of scientists working on ocean science and putting an end to wide spread testing for disease, we can limit concerns. Our simple logic is this: if we can't find a disease, it must not be there. That we are not looking is merely incidental."
I may have paraphrased McRae's words a bit loosely but the ones above would have been more honest than the government press release issued this week.

Ivan Doumenc at Salmon Warriors gives his account of the government spin. Follow the link for the entire entry, these are excerpts:
On Tuesday, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) gave a surreal press conference to announce to the world that the Infectious Salmon Anemia virus outbreak was not happening in British Columbia. The CFIA was assisted in this dangerous enterprise by the usual suspects, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Province of British Columbia.

Dr. Con Kiley, Director of National Aquatic Animal Health at the CFIA, announced that his agency had tested the 48 samples used in previous tests and that all of them were negative for ISA...

Dr. Kiley’s seduction attempt did not succeed. He was met instead with a barrage of hard questions by a very skeptical bunch of journalists. A reporter from the Seattle Times asked some of the most relevant questions of the conference as he tried to piece together the contradictory information he was receiving from his various sources:

Q: You say all tests are negative. But Dr. Nylund from the reference laboratory in Norway told me in an email that the samples suggest ISA is present. Explain this discrepancy.

A: We would consider his report as inconclusive. We would consider that to be negative, because it was not repeatable. Dr. Nylund got only one positive from multiple tests on one sample. And he said it was not reproducible. So technically, according to CFIA standards, it is negative.

Like a compromised fish sample, the quality of the government’s message degraded rapidly. They had started with the solid, simple line that all results were negative. Then, under journalistic pressure, they retreated to a very different and much more complex place, that the results were actually inconclusive. And then, they moved to the realm of the incomprehensible, by stating that a positive could technically be read as a negative. They were losing their grip over their media conference. But then it got much worse for them, as the journalist from the Seattle Times continued...

...A reporter from Yukon News ventured to ask: are you planning to do any further tests up North in the Yukon? Dr. Kiley gave a response for the books: No, we only do our investigations in Canadian waters. Well last time I checked, Yukon was still part of Canada, she was quick to reply. Ah OK, well no – we have no plans for further testing up North, he said dismissively as if his response contained its self-evident justification...

Dear Wild Salmon People

On November 8 the provincial and federal governments of Canada announced there is no "evidence" of ISA virus in British Columbia, ignoring 6 positive tests from two of the top world labs for ISA virus. This announcement came amid world headlines that farm salmon prices continue to fall due to over-supply, while the Premier of BC was on a trade mission to China.

Thank you to all of you who are reporting on the condition of the wild salmon in rivers in your area and have kept us going with your donations.

Alexandra Morton
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2 comments:

  1. Notice it was a Seattle reporter asking the hard questions. He may not know the gentlemanly rule of BC journalism: "We don't report original news, we echo information written by our friends."

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  2. Now the U.S. is yelling about, their salmon being killed off by BC's infected salmon. These filthy diseased fish farms, are killing off the wild salmon in other country's as well. However, government greed comes first.

    It seems the U.S. doesn't know about the Canadian media being muzzled?? That the scientists reports on their studies, all have to go through Harper first? Don't they know, environment study's in Canada, have been slashed to the bare bones? Harper is desperate, to peddle the dirty tars sands to the entire world. He is also hiding the dirty tar sands, dirty secrets.

    The media here in BC, is just a propaganda machine for the BC Liberals. Don't the U.S. media know, BC is the most corrupt province in Canada?? Do they not know about the, Campbell/Clark BC Liberals, being the most corrupt politicians, ever known in this country?

    Fly right at it Americans, never, ever will you get the truth out of Harper, and certainly not from, the Campbell/Clark BC Liberals.

    Hopefully, this will show the U.S...what a cesspool of corruption, Canada really is, because of Harper. In Canada, lying and evil, thieving politicians, are rewarded for their corruption and crimes. The politicians in Canada, even cheat to win.

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