Activist Alexandra Morton makes her lie even bigger

It would appear I touched a nerve with this post last week.

Annoyed by being caught in a lie, Alexandra Morton mobilized her followers to copy-paste this in the comments section:

I don’t generally respond to people who like to sling mud without posting their names. I feel it is cowardly and means they do not really believe in what they are saying, but in this case I want to set the record straight.

The reason I stated on 60 Minutes that nobody is actually looking at wild salmon carefully for ISA virus (except me) is because the CFIA is using a test called “virus isolation” that has never worked anywhere on wild salmon. It requires so much virus that wild salmon infected at that level likely have been caught by the predators that follow them.

If the CFIA wanted to know if ISA is in BC – they would have tested the farmed Atlantic salmon that are known carriers of the virus, they would have retested all the positive samples from the labs who are getting positive results and they would have used the same tests as these labs and figured out what these results mean. Instead they destroy and silence labs and carry on using a test that has never worked. When this virus goes deadly in BC, we will have all these people on record. It won’t help our coast, but it might help people somewhere else in protecting themselves from this industry.

American ISA test results

Notice how Morton focuses on the CFIA, and makes no mention of the thousands of tests done on wild salmon by Alaska and Washington states. Pretending they don’t exist won’t make them go away.

Those of you who hang on her every word should really ask why she never acknowledges these American test results — thousands of tests of wild Pacific salmon done since 2011 — which show no evidence of ISA virus.

The second lie

Morton says “the CFIA is using a test called ‘virus isolation’ that has never worked anywhere on wild salmon.”

This is another one of Morton’s attempts to trick people about how virus testing works, and to cast doubt on CFIA tests.

The fact is, “virus isolation” is nothing strange or unusual — it’s a common, internationally-accepted method to confirm whether or not you’ve actually detected a virus. The CFIA, Washington and Alaska are all using the same methods described in the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE)  Manual of Diagnostic Tests for Aquatic Animals. Yes, “virus isolation” is one of two key methods outlined in this manual for confirming virus.

And, according to the manual, these methods have worked in confirming ISA virus in wild salmon and wild trout (Kibenge et al., 2004; Plarre et al., 2005).

The third lie

Morton says, “If the CFIA wanted to know if ISA is in BC – they would have tested the farmed Atlantic salmon that are known carriers of the virus.”

They did.

 

The half-truth

Morton says CFIA should have “retested all the positive samples from the labs who are getting positive results and they would have used the same tests as these labs and figured out what these results mean.”

They retested the freezer-burnt fish from Rivers Inlet which Morton presented in a SFU press conference back in 2011.

But since there’s no way to tell where any of her other samples since then actually came from, there’s no point in testing more of them.

Dr. Greenwood, of the Canadian food agency, said that research to determine where one of Ms. Morton’s market-purchased samples came from produced conflicting accounts from people in the supply chain. Without a clear chain of custody, she said, there was no point testing the fish at all. She said there had been no attempt to cover up anything.

“We couldn’t even verify that that fish was in fact Canadian in origin,” she said.

The record is far from straight, Alex

Morton insists on spreading lies and half-truths about scientific methods and test results. She is so hell-bent on getting rid of salmon farms that she’ll say and do almost anything.

Hopefully her followers will investigate her claims for themselves, and question her about things like the American ISA test results.

Here’s a few key points to remember when they do so.

2014-05-20 11_09_29-CULTWATCH _ How Cults Work 2014-05-20 11_08_40-CULTWATCH _ How Cults Work 2014-05-20 11_09_11-CULTWATCH _ How Cults Work

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55 thoughts on “Activist Alexandra Morton makes her lie even bigger”

  1. Quote from Eric: “Hmm??? Oh wait perhaps a fish farm virus that breaks out and infects the wild native salmon population could be one possible problem. But I guess you didn’t think of that you’re a fish farmer, too many PCB’s.”

    And what do you actually know about these viruses that break out and infect the wild native salmon population? Where do viruses come from? Let’s take one that has broke out on farms recently here – like IHNv. What do we know about the pathology and distribution of this virus? How do farmed Atlantic Salmon become infected by IHNv? Did you know that IHNv is an endemic virus where adult Pacific Salmon have evolved with the virus. But I guess you didn’t think of that you’re just an ignorant activist – too much Morton Kool-Aid.

  2. Quote from Mike Armstrong: “WOW!! Press for an honest answer and up pops Steve Are you running this blog?.”

    Seems like you are not providing any answers to my questions either. Better check with Morton for a cut and paste response. No, I am not running this blog. Do you have a brother named Lance?

    Quote from Mike Armstrong: “On the East coast the major player was dumping illegal pesticides into the Bay of Fundy. Lobsters were rolling up on the beach dead and the fisherperson’s traps were coming up full of dead ones. The industry screamed loudly “it’s not us”! They pleaded guilty after their office were raided and documentation seized by Environment Canada resulting in ½ a million fine!”

    Well the premise behind my previous post was that fish farmers can’t just circumvent around the law as easy as you claim. Your example just shows how the government in this case held this particular company in eastern Canada accountable. Thanks Mike.

  3. Maybe all the dead fish are hidden in the Sea Soil people buy for their gardens. Doesn’t that sound appetizing!

  4. Fish Farm Science you still did not answer the question regarding testing of your open net pen fish. Why won’t you allow independent testing of the fish in the pens and publish the results?
    Saying DFFO ( AKA = Department of Fish Farms & Oceans) who have gutted their science branch, closed their libraries and now changing the Fisheries Act to meet their new mandate of DFFO, is asking the fox to count the chickens. They have handed off their responsibilities for science, evaluation and siting to Transport Canada, Environment Canada and CFIA all to align with their new mandate.
    If you do not allow independent testing it will always be perceived that you are hiding something!
    Are you ?

    1. How do you hide thousands of dead Atlantic Salmon which have died because of ISA or even IHN (an endemic disease), Mike? How do you hide thousands of dead Atlantic Salmon which have supposedly died of a federally reportable diseases which farms are required by law to report, Mike? Are you suggesting that they are not reporting these events? What is your evidence? Oh that’s right….fish farm critics don’t have none – they just speculate. The facts shows that they are if you look at the IHN outbreaks from Mainstream farms on the west coast of Vancouver Island in 2012 and even events on the east coast of Canada. Where these reported or not, Mike?

      1. WOW!! Press for an honest answer and up pops Steve Are you running this blog?. A few facts I have ferreted out here from the DFO people here on the West coast, There is NO PAPERTRAIL from the hatchery gate to the sea pens! Perhaps the industry have numbers on a pen by pen basis, but your friends at DFFO do not know how many fish are in each pen on each lease. Industry fish are not identified by fin clip or Carlin tag, prove where they came from! So if there is an accidental escape who knows the right numbers or wherethey came from. Drop a net and the predators will look after the rest. PROVE it didn’t happen!

        On the East coast the major player was dumping illegal pesticides into the Bay of Fundy. Lobsters were rolling up on the beach dead and the fisherperson’s traps were coming up full of dead ones. The industry screamed loudly “it’s not us”! They pleaded guilty after their office were raided and documentation seized by Environment Canada resulting in ½ a million fine!

        DFFO is lazy and have allowed the industry to run the show. Industry is supplying the numbers and DFFO swear by them all along promoting their new mandate. For them wild salmon are no longer to be considered of importance East coast or West coast! Their career paths and income depend on the open net pen industry!

      2. Mike, that’s total horseshit. Farms can track by the genetics a fish back to exactly which hatchery it came from. If an end customer wanted, a company could pull up the lot number from a box of their fish, and trace it back to exactly what genetic line in the broodstock it came from.

        I’m not responding to anything about the East Coast. I’ve made it clear that’s not what this blog is about.

        If you think DFO is lazy and allowing industry to run the show, I suggest you take a good read through the aquaculture licence template and see exactly what hoops industry must jump through for DFO.

      3. Also Mike, what do you think about how Alex lied on 60 Minutes by saying nobody was looking at the wild salmon closely, when clearly, given the massive surveillance effort by Alaska, BC and Washington, that’s not true?

      4. Actually ISA is an Internationally reportable disease-not just federally…

      5. Untrue. If ISA is found but not reported in Canada, it is a violation under the Health of Animals act with penalties including fines and possible jail time.

    2. So what do you think about DFO-appointed fisheries guardians on commercial boats to make sure commercial fishers don’t take too many fish, don’t slay an inordinate amount of bycatch and don’t destroy the ocean floor? Or does your criticism of DFO only apply to how it regulates salmon farms?

      1. You really don’t know shit about the commercial fishing industry and how it is regulated. Trawlers have had camera surveillance for years as well as fisheries observers who stay on board has been practiced for decades. All fisheries are required to have a log book or more commonly an e log that tracks your location with daily catch reporting witch is then validated upon delivery. You don’t see any dfo watching fish farm packers unload and counting there fish to see if any escapes were made? It is laughable that you would even mention destroying ocean floor as fish farms create known kill zones where ever they are placed. Trawlers are the only fishery that sometimes drag the bottom but even they have been heavily scrutinized and have changed most of there practices to doing mid water drags and changing there net styles and bottom rollers. Dfo has been heavily scrutinized for poorly managing commercial fisheries what are you talking about? Clearly you are not very informed.

  5. It’s a shame that on 60 minutes nobody mentioned what’s in fish farm feed and how much they need to eat. It takes 3 lbs of wild caught stocks to produce 1 lb of low quality not healthy farm salmon. The species being harvested for feed are all bottom of the food chain members. This is a very risky move as species like krill and sardines are the main feed of almost all wild fish and marine mammals. The economics of farming salmon don’t work the Canadian government has already subsidized the industry as it fails. Not to mention how fish farms are insured against the Canadian government if anything goes wrong ” like a virus outbreak” we the tax payers are held accountable, you don’t here the salmon “farmers” talking about that. Anonymous fish farmer pull your head out of the sand your delusional and all you care about is your job don’t pretend you care about the environment because you don’t. You should be publicly shamed with rest of your 95 percent foreign owned industry. Canada is going to be the biggest loser when this comes to an end. Salmon farming in open pens is a sunset industry good idea in theory terrible risks in reality. Alex Morton is a hero to keep doing what she does against such ignorance and corruption and doing most of her work out of her own time and pocket. If there was more ppl like her in the world we would be able to get rid of risky pipelines and all other corrupt business that is continously being forced upon us by coorporations. It’s our children’s world that were risking with very little thought.

    1. They did mention that Eric. They mentioned that it takes about 1.2 lbs of feed to grow 1 lb of salmon. And as the data from all the BC salmon farming companies shows, the actual amount of wild fish ingredients used in that feed is only about 20%. In the last 10 years salmon farms have reduced the amount of wild fish in feed by about half. It now takes 1 lb or less of wild caught stocks to produce 1 lb of quality, healthy salmon.

      1. Poultry meal, pork meal, vegetables. And trimmings from other fisheries — stuff that used to just be thrown away. That’s what’s in the rest of the feed. And yes it’s possible. It’s being done right now. The science does work, perhaps you might benefit by talking to a nutritionist at a feed company.

      2. Just a copy and paste here yummy!

        Low risk and high risk material
        Poultry offals obtained from from healthy birds are classified as low-risk material. On the contrary, poultry offals originating from poultry mortalities may transmit diseases to human, livestock or poultry and should be characterized as high-risk material. These two types of poultry offals should not be mixed since both should susbsequently be treated as high risk material, thus requiring energy-intensive rendering if they are intended for feed or fertilizers (Williams, 2010).
        It should be noted that poultry by-product meal is still prohibited in the European Union for livestock feeding (2011).

      3. If the economics of fish farming are as good as you say they are then why wont they take them on land where they can be contained where real farms exist. I couldn’t imagine if bird flu or mad cow disease got loose in heavy tidal waters are you brain damaged or just really stupid.

    2. Even if it is what u say it is being 1 lb wild to 1 lb farm fish which I don’t believe. That number is still way to high. You can’t harvest 1 lb wild to get 1 lb farm that doesn’t make sense and your still having to harvest the land taking away land for human food to add feed filler because it’s too expensive to keep harvesting wild stocks not cause it’s politically incorrect. The science doesn’t work. Do you not get it? I guess your farm salmon diet has clouded your mind must be all the PCB’s. Your ignorance disgusts me.

    3. Fish Farm Science you still did not answer the question regarding testing of your open net pen fish. Why won’t you allow independent testing of the fish in the pens and publish the results?
      Saying DFFO ( AKA = Department of Fish Farms & Oceans) who have gutted their science branch, closed their libraries and now changing the Fisheries Act to meet their new mandate of DFFO, is asking the fox to count the chickens. They have handed off their responsibilities for science, evaluation and siting to Transport Canada, Environment Canada and CFIA all to align with their new mandate. If you do not allow independent testing it will always be perceived that you are hiding something!
      Are you ?

    4. You fail to point out it takes more wild fish to produce one pound of wild salmon than one pound of farmed salmon.

      1. My apologies I read your comment backwards before! You are correct that wild salmon do consume more wild fish per kilo produced than farmed fish.

        Thanks for pointing that out!

    5. Quote from Eric: “The economics of farming salmon don’t work the Canadian government has already subsidized the industry as it fails. Not to mention how fish farms are insured against the Canadian government if anything goes wrong ” like a virus outbreak” we the tax payers are held accountable, you don’t here the salmon “farmers” talking about that.”

      This is the same legislation that is used to compensate other agricultural sectors in Canada in similar situations (i.e. avian bird flu) when the CFIA orders the cull. If this compensation is not acceptable to you then we should be fair and abolish it for all agricultural sectors, huh?

      If anything goes wrong? Do you know what those might be?

      1. Real farms don’t grow invasive foreign species in high concentration. Take your Atlantic salmon and leave BC waters

      2. Hmm??? Oh wait perhaps a fish farm virus that breaks out and infects the wild native salmon population could be one possible problem. But I guess you didn’t think of that you’re a fish farmer, too many PCB’s.

  6. Quite the tempest in this tea pot, much gnashing of teeth and thinly veiled menace, hardly merited.
    It should come as a surprise to no one that Alexandra was less than forthcoming about a multinational effort to sample for ISA. I believe her when she says she thinks that the effort is designed to fail. This does not mean I believe it. Alexandra has always struck me as a passionate advocate for wild salmon not some nefarious Machiavellian conspirator. It is only that she seems to work backwards from conclusion. My true disappointment is that sixty minutes with all the facts chose to tell the story that “no one’s looking”.

  7. My goodness quite the tempest in this tea pot. A fair bit of thinly veiled hatred (on both sides) hardly merited. For my two cents it should hardly come as a surprise Alexandra omitted that there was a multinational ISA testing effort going on. I believe her when she states that she thinks that the government is deliberately using a method that will find no results. However this does not mean I think it is true.I think she is sincere not Machiavellian.She is just working dogmatically backwards from conclusion, with that I can sympathize. Sixty minutes however in full possession of the facts chose to tell this story. That is where my disappointment lies.

  8. So why not do the testing that she claims needs to be done? Invite her and a group to monitor. Record it and post it online either via YouTube or other medium. Settle it once and for all.

    1. BC salmon farmers get their own fish tested and have done for a decade. DFO has been sampling and testing wild salmon for decades. The wild salmon surveillance program set up in response to Morton’s claims back in 2012 is still going in BC, Alaska, Washington and even Idaho. There’s thousands of tests being done by qualified people. The BC Genome Project is testing farmed fish on a regular basis. Scientists from UBC and other universities are testing fish for different projects.

      1. You can say what you want about Alex…. You are targeting her because she is a threat! The more you condemn, the more we as a group think she’s doing a great job! Keep spewing!

      2. Salmon Farm Science you didn’t answer the question! Why not do what this writer suggests. Prove what you say is fact! Do random, unannounced, outside observer verified test of your open net pen fish and settle this once and for all.

  9. You say you proudly work for the industry, yet you hide behind your anonymity….If your industry was something for you to be proud of, they themselves would be classy enough to insist that you reveal your identity when making such smear accusations against another….A truly decent company, one to be proud of, would insist that there be a discussion or dialogue on these subjects, not one of their nameless lackeys spreading vicious slander….If the BCSFA backs you up in this, it goes a long way in showing how sad they really are.

    1. Lol you should be more worried about the radiation from Japan getting into our fish or the oil companies that will or could destroy the ecosystem on the west coast yet your worried about a article. There are bigger things going on in this world that require much more attention. Yet you defend this person like she is god sent give me a break. Get your priorities straight. Its funny because i watched a video about a animal putting itself on the line to save another animal, yet people show little disregard for a small child who lay on the ground hit by a motorist and later died. Why don’t you direct all that energy on real matters real problems.

    2. You and your friends have shown in the past that you will stoop to attacking people’s personal lives, I’ve seen you do it to many people in the business over many years, so pardon me if I don’t really feel like allowing you to do that to me and the rest of the blog contributers as well.

      This blog has NEVER attacked the personal lives of anti-salmon farming activists, and has always focused on the things they say and do related to salmon farming.

      You and your group has shown you are incapable of having an adult conversation, and incapable of separating your hate from the discussion.

      Expect to be challenged when you say things that are incorrect, willfully or otherwise.

    3. Great response Angela! Alex is a decent, honest person and this is reflected in the work she does. The lie I see is in the anonymity.

  10. Ok let me get this straight is she nuts or just another forrest gump in the making because stupid is stupid does. Why does she say this.

    Morton says CFIA should have “retested all the positive samples from the labs who are getting positive results and they would have used the same tests as these labs and figured out what these results mean.”
    (that alone says the test work if they found positive samples). Then she goes on too say.
    Morton says “the CFIA is using a test called ‘virus isolation’ that has never worked anywhere on wild salmon.” So what is it? does it work or does it not stop contradicting yourself, your statements are confusing as hell.

  11. Whatever the CFIA says, you can bet the exact opposite is true. Lying, bureaucratic, sacks of fecal contaminant! No wonder no one trusts or believes what you have to say! The lot of you should be charged with treason for what you’ve done to Canadians! Keep us safe? PLEASE! The CFIA is so full of shit, the entire agency should be replaced!

  12. Accusing anybody of a lie should be done with great caution – I see not lie on the part of Alexandra Morton, but rather a general lack of scientific evidence and research effort on both sides.

    1. Read what she said on 60 minutes. It’s a lie. “There’s nobody actually looking at the wild fish carefully.” Provably false + she knows there are people studying this = a lie.

      1. Justice Cohen pointed out that the agencies appointed to regulate the industry are instead, promoting this filth. This may feel like a lively discussion, it’s really is just a smear campaign on a respected scientist. Fortunately, it get’s people mad and asking questions, so bravo for your lack of forethought. Shit in the water that will not be contained, that is where the discussion begins. Your cult reference is laughable.

      2. Not finding a virus is the results the conflict of interest mandated by the CFIA and DFO . This is the point!

      3. If the results of the testing you say is being done determines whether or not you get your government funding for research next year then what ever you have to say will always be suspect

  13. CFIA? ha what a joke they can’t be trusted at all!! last year they let fish in open net pens on the east coast knowingly infected with ISA grow to market size then be sold!! An International reportable disease allowed to keep spreading inside the pens and beyond for months before the fish were sent to market! I realize not every fish in the pen/s were infected but funny how they change the rules to suit the industry! I have little faith in the CFIA-they don’t do their job right!

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