Malachite Green Detected in B.C. Farmed Salmon
January 14, 2008 - SFB Staff - Fish samples from two Vancouver Island, British Columbia, salmon farms have tested positive for malachite green, a fungicide banned for use in food processing in 1992 after it was found to be a carcinogen.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration found traces of malachite green in salmon during routine testing at the U.S.-Canadian border on Dec. 4. The fish samples are from Marine Harvest and Creative Salmon Co., and the FDA informed the companies of the results on Dec. 27. No fish samples have tested positive for malachite green since Dec. 4.
''We were completely stunned,'' Clare Backman, Marine Harvest's manager of environmental compliance, told the Times Colonist of Victoria, B.C. ''The fish were tested before they left the hatchery for any trace of the chemical, we tested the food and we also tested the fish before they left the marine site.''
Backman told the newspaper that Marine Harvest does not use malachite green, that it tests its fish regularly and that no samples have tested positive for malachite green. The Norwegian company also had fish samples tested at the University of Guelph in Ontario after the FDA's discovery, but the results turned up negative. Marine Harvest has suspended harvesting at its Port McNeill site, added Backman.
In a Jan. 8 press release, Creative Salmon also said that it does not use malachite green, that it tests its fish regularly and that no samples have tested positive for malachite green. The Tofino, B.C., company, which raises king salmon, has suspended harvesting at its Eagle Bay site, and production will not resume until the results of additional testing are available. The plant will employ as many as 700 workers once complete.