January 6, 2016 2:05 pm

Appeal of court ruling that failed to overturn GM salmon production under consideration

This undated 2010 file handout photo provided by AquaBounty Technologies shows two same-age salmon, a genetically modified salmon, rear, and a non-genetically modified salmon, foreground.

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HALIFAX – Two environmental groups are considering appealing a Federal Court ruling not to overturn Environment Canada’s decision to approve the production of genetically modified salmon eggs in P.E.I.

Mark Butler of the Ecology Action Centre in Halifax says they have until early next month to determine whether they will challenge the decision, which came out in December.

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The group and Living Oceans Society argued in court that the federal government did not follow its own legislated rules and conduct a full risk assessment before clearing AquaBounty to produce the eggs on the Island.

However, Judge Russel W. Zinn dismissed the claims and found the federal ministers’ decisions “were reasonable” and followed the Canadian Environmental Protection Act.

AquaBounty CEO Ron Stotish says the court ruling supports the company’s claim that the eggs do not pose any risk to the environment or human health.

The decision comes after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the AquaBounty salmon for human consumption in November, making it the first genetically engineered animal product deemed safe for the dining table.

© 2016 The Canadian Press

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