We really don’t want to pick on Alexandra Morton but she really makes it easy. Again, we are not attacking her personally. We are sure she is a very nice person. But once again, the things she says about salmon farming and the ‘science’ she does to back it up is just plain junk.
Now she has announced that she has found ISA in farmed Atlantic salmon purchased from supermarkets in the Lower Mainland. There are some peculiar aspects to this story which should make anyone question this conclusion.
First of all, the salmon were purchased from three T and T supermarkets. Why choose this chain, which imports seafood from all over the world for the Chinese-Canadian market? Do we know where these fish are really from? What sort of potential was there for cross-contamination? Why didn’t she get samples from several different stores? Why didn’t she get samples from stores that are definitely known to sell farmed salmon grown in BC?
There was a real missed opportunity here to put some scientific controls on this experiment. Getting precise information about the source of the salmon would have been crucial data needed to make this experiment meaningful. Instead Ms. Morton didn’t think it necessary to get a clear record of this information, instead choosing to assert that “from speaking with the people behind the seafood counter we believe these fish were reared in BC marine feedlots.”
That’s not good enough. Ms. Morton, if you want to make serious claims about ISA and salmon in BC you had better have some good evidence to back it up. As Carl Sagan said, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”
There isn’t even any bad evidence here, just Ms. Morton’s confident assertion that what she believes is true.
This is a pattern. She seems so determined to prove she is right that she is blinded to alternative explanations for the data she observes.
This is bad science plain and simple, and a real missed opportunity to add some useful data to help everyone better understand farmed and wild salmon in BC.