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imageThe Canadian Parliamentary secretary to Agriculture secretary Jerry Ritz told CBC-TV’s Power & Politics Friday afternoon that the 2 million pounds of Nova Scotia harvested from a virus-infected salmon farm operated in Nova Scotia by multi-national Cooke Aquaculture is fit to eat and could be shipped to salmon buyers in Boston or New York city, according to the Canadian Food Inspection agency, which Ritz oversees.

The contentious issue was also featured on “As it Happens”, CBC Radio’s top public affairs show, The Toronto Star, Seafood News, CBC Halifax, Halifax Herald and others.

Previously, the CFIA has ordered the immediate slaughter of any salmon infected by the infectious salmon anemia (ISA) virus, a flu-like disease with a 90% mortality rate in farmed salmon. The CFIA says ISA is harmless to humans. On Monday, a CFIA official announced that a new policy would allow fish from infected farms, not themselves showing disease symptoms, to be sold on the open consumer market.

The primary consumer market for Cooke Aquaculture and its True North Salmon subsidiary brand is the United States and much of the product is distributed through channels in Boston and New York City.

The media attention to this still-unfolding story has been intense, including several business stories about a recent “junk-bond” (B3) rating from Moody’s Investment Services relating to a planned sale of $250 million in unsecured notes by Cooke, in an effort to repay some of the $310 million debt Cooke accrued in 2010.

Below are some links to recent news stories.  

Canadian food inspectors give seal of approval to virus infected salmon: CBC-TV – Power and Politics: 1feb2013

Infected salmon declared fit for human consumption: Toronto Star – 1Feb2013

Infected ISA salmon being sold to consumers: CBC As it Happens – 1feb2013

CFIA says “no risk” from infected salmon: Global News – 1feb2013

Canada salmon virus no risk to USA consumers – CFIA: CBC Radio – 1feb2013

CFIA says sick salmon good to eat: Sun News Service: 1feb2013

CFIA switches gears in consumer sales of ISA-infected salmon: CBC Radio – 28jan2013