In the wake of a vigorous public response to the recent news that Cooke Aquaculture will be marketing 2.5 million pounds of Atlantic salmon from a quarantined farm near Liverpool, Sobeys food store executives say that their stores will not be selling any of the fish which may be infected with the infectious salmon anemia virus (ISAv).
In an email responding to SCT inquiries, Shauna Selig, communications mamager for Sobeys, says that, due to the news stories about the ISA salmon being processed in New Brunswick by Cooke, the company has been getting customer questions about the salmon and "whether or not we will sell it in our stores and, if so, will it be labeled."
Seling told SCt that Sobeys has not had any of these salmon for sale in stores in the area and that "our supplier has confirmed that none of these fish identified as having ISA will be shipped to our stores."
She added that, as they are "not selling any of these ISA-infected salmon in our stores, there will be no need to identify any as such."
Several news and Facebook sites and email usegroups have been abuzz this week, after a CBC interview with a Cooke executive, explaining the reasoning behind the salmon sales.
Some of the comments on SCT included: "...this stuff is still diseased and not very appetizing to consumers" and "Forget Nell Halse and CFIA and other petty distractions. Tell Superstore and Sobey's that you won't buy any fish from a fish case that contains fish infected with ISA Virus. Ask them NOT to sell any seafood infected with the ISA virus. Then stick to your word. Don't buy it. Tell your family and friends not to buy it. And tell your friends in Montreal to stay away from those "salmon portions" at $2.99/lb."
Several Chronicle Herald readers expressed dismay based on that paper's recent story.
Cooke and CFIA officials have repeatedly warned consumers and media that ISA was completely harmless to humans. Those assertions are based largely on a 13 year-old EU Commission on Health and Consumer Protection study of the "Zoonotic Risk from Infectious Salmon Anaemia virus", where the conclusion was not that ISA was harmless, but that that there was "no evidence of risk to man."