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Toxic News:
The Forces Behind The Attempt To ‘Get’ Salmon Farming

Paul F. Stifflemire, Jr.,
Director of The Media Research Center’s Free Market Project

The American news media has been used again. An outfit called the Environmental Working Group issued a press release dated July 30 that began:

WASHINGTON -- The Environmental Working Group (EWG) today released results of the most extensive tests to date of cancer-causing polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs) levels in farmed salmon consumed in the United States. EWG bought the salmon from local grocery stores and found seven of 10 fish were so contaminated with PCBs that they raise cancer-risk concerns, relative to health standards of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

 Journalists across the country covered the “story” with articles that were, for the most part, little more than edited versions of the EWG press release. Reuters “Health and Science Correspondent” Maggie Fox began her story this way:

 Farmed salmon, which Americans are scarfing down because it is supposed to be healthy, may actually be carrying high levels of cancer-causing chemicals called PCBs, an environmental group said on Wednesday.

 The majority of news stories provided little, if any information on the background or credentials of EWG, and there was no critical analysis of the study. News outlets relying on Reuters’ Fox might just as well have reprinted the EWG press release. Her “story” was comprised nearly entirely of quotes and data taken verbatim from EWG’s copy and conveyed that organization’s message quite clearly: farmed salmon poses a distinct health risk and the FDA is asleep at the switch.

 And that message: “beware farmed salmon” was echoed in the vast majority of news coverage.

 The Real Story

 But the real news is that journalists are asleep at the switch, and under the influence of environmental credulity and anti-business bias. Claims that farmed salmon contain PCBs are more than a year old. In May 1992 the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) ran a story about a Vancouver geneticist’s suggestion that farmed salmon raised in British Columbia had “raised levels” of PCBs. That report was, like the EWG study, billed as a “first ever” look at “contaminants in farmed fish.” It was picked up by other news outlets, including USA Today, which ran an editorial in October 2002 by Nick Jans, entitled “Farmed salmon can’t beat wild.” Jans is “an Alaskan and a member of USA Today’s Board of Contributors.” He is also an advocate with an agenda, as he makes clear in his editorial:

 Meanwhile, the salmon-farming industry continues to expand, notably in British Columbia, literally on the doorstep of Alaska, home to our last huge runs of wild salmon. Alaskan fishermen continue to go bankrupt, processing plants close and workers go on welfare.  

Wild Alaska salmon remains one of the last abundant, relatively pure and wild foods available. Why on earth should we weaken our economy and threaten a precious natural resource - all so we can eat an imported, inferior substitute?

 In fact, the first notice of Dr. Easton’s “pilot study” appears to have been in January, 2001, when the BBC NEWS Sci/Tech section reported that his “study” had caused UK scientists to urge further research into the safety of farmed salmon. However, between 2001 and the 2002 stories and editorials and certainly well before the release of the EWG study, Dr. Easton’s work had been thoroughly dismissed as unscientific, and unreliable in terms of being useful in forming serious conclusions as to the safety of farmed salmon.[1]

Abusing The Term ‘Science’

 None the less, as the salmon story continues to develop, Easton’s study morphs into a “peer-reviewed” work touted by EWG and others. Jans wrote in his editorial that Easton’s work “was published in the peer-reviewed international science journal, Chemosphere….” In fact, articles in Chemosphere are not necessarily peer-reviewed, nor is Chemosphere itself “peer-reviewed.”   The magazine’s publisher, Elsevior, describes it this way:

 Chemosphere is an international journal designed for the rapid publication of original communications as well as review articles. Chemosphere, as a multidisciplinary journal, offers maximum dissemination of investigations related to all aspects of environmental science. Chemosphere will publish:

  • Original communications describing important new discoveries or further developments in important fields of investigation related to the environment and human health
  • Reviews, mainly of new developing areas of environmental science
  • Special, themed issues on relevant topics.

 True peer-review is defined this way: “…a process that includes an independent assessment of the technical or scientific merit of research ‘by peers who are scientists with knowledge and expertise equal to that of the researchers whose work they review’."[2] The only assertion that Easton’s work was “peer-reviewed,” came from the study’s funding source, the David Suzuki Foundation, without any substantiation whatever. However, the mere publication of the article has miraculously transformed it into “peer-reviewed” science. Easton himself admits that “at our client's discretion, some client-sponsored projects have also been reported in the popular press.” He distinguishes between “independent research” he conducts, and “client sponsored projects” such as his salmon work bought by the Suzuki foundation.

 EWG made special note of the fact that its results “track previous studies of farmed salmon contamination....” Journalists, ever credulous, took EWG’s word for it that there were, indeed, previous “peer-reviewed” studies, and that, somehow, that possibility accorded EWG's “findings” instant credibility.

 Inescapable Conclusions

 Pursuit of the facts leads to several inescapable conclusions, however. First: the media simply did not do its job. Second, much of the news media appears to have become captive to the agenda of extreme environmentalism and has, in this case, been a pliable tool in an effort, described by the International Foundation for the Conservation of Natural Resources as: “[an] NGO-orchestrated campaign against farmed salmon [and] a move to eliminate certain seafood items (and other agricultural commodities) from consumer choices at retail outlets and seafood restaurants. It appears also to be the introductory step prior to a major push by NGOs to assume the role of monitor over product procurement over seafood and the entire food industry.”[3]

 Third: we agree that the effort to “get” salmon farming is part of a larger effort aimed at “Big Food,” an industry held in the same contempt by those involved as “Big Tobacco,” and about to be subjected to the same, virulent onslaught. What is at stake in this fight is the very concept of economic freedom and the very free market system that has served to make America the most prosperous nation on earth. The stakes are indeed high.

 Salmon Farming Under Attack

 Perhaps if salmon farming were less successful, it wouldn’t have so many enemies today. But it has been amazingly successful, achieving the efficient production of a quality, desirable product far beyond what anyone believed possible at the industry’s beginnings. And it appears that has earned the salmon farming industry a number of enemies.

 A Free Market Success Story

 Between 1981 and 1998, a remarkable transformation took place. The principal supply source of salmon brought to market went from wild caught salmon to farmed salmon. In 1981 the total farmed salmon weighed a mere 12,000 tons, versus a wild catch weight totaling 620,000 tons. By 1998, farmed salmon production had surpassed the output of the world’s fishing fleets, and in 1999 farmed salmon output stood at 1,010,000 tons, more than 24 percent greater than the 812,000 tons caught “in the wild.”[4]

 And forecasters suggest that the future looks even brighter for aquaculture, the name for the practice also known as “fish farming” and criticized by its opponents as producing “factory fish.” In Chile alone farmed salmon production could quadruple in the next decade to 654,000 tons, according to Rodrigo Infante, general manager of the Association of Chilean Salmon and Trout Farmers. By 2010, farming could provide 84 percent of the world's salmon, 2.3 million metric tons.[5] And this is precisely how the free market works.

 Entrepreneurs recognize a real need, and devise the means to efficiently and profitably meet that need. In the case of salmon and other fish farming, the benefits to humanity are manifold. We have heard the stories of the depletion of the world’s supplies of wild fish, due to over-fishing and over-consumption. We have been warned by environmentalists that we are coming dangerously close to eliminating certain species of fish; yet, at the same time we are told by scientists of the benefits of consuming fish. And, it is recognized that meeting the demands of a growing world population will require ever more of them. Thus the application of mass production methods by fish farmers has produced an abundant and relatively inexpensive supply of fish, and appears to hold the promise of meeting the world’s growing demand.

 But it is this very success, and the expectation of significant industry growth and profits, that have served to attract the attention of powerful interest groups. At a minimum, these groups can be characterized as less than sanguine regarding the benevolence of private industry, especially industry with a global reach. At the extreme, they are anti-capitalist and not beyond sabotage to advance their agendas.

 Media Find Junk Science Credible

 Salmon farming has been thrust into the spotlight again following the issue of a report by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) claiming that samples taken from 10 farmed salmon purchased in supermarkets were found to contain what the EWG called “high levels of cancer-causing PCBs.” The report went on to advise that, despite the fact that the claimed levels of PCBs were substantially below what the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) deems safe, consumers should significantly reduce their consumption of farmed salmon.

 Our review of media coverage found that the EWG report received national coverage and was accorded credibility by all outlets. Typical was the story appearing in the Washington Post, which began: “A sharp rise in the consumption of farmed salmon may be posing a health threat to millions of Americans because of high levels of PCBs that have been found in limited samples of the popular fish, according to a study released yesterday.”[6]

 Most news outlets, like the Post, treated the EWG claims with total credulity. The New York Times reported the EWG assertion that the fish samples studied contained PCBs “at an average level far higher than any other protein source, including all other seafood.” Then the Times, while noting that the EWG report was not “peer reviewed,” meaning it had not been subjected to the level of scrutiny required to consider its findings or conclusions scientifically credible, informed its readers that “two previous peer-reviewed studies of farmed salmon found similarly high levels of PCBs.” We have found, however, that the two studies being referred to are not, in fact peer reviewed.[7]

A number of reports contained the identical sentence: “Responding to the recent findings, Dr. Terry Troxell, a toxicologist in the FDA center for food safety and applied nutrition, said, "Any time we have a standard that goes back to the '70s and '80s, it's time to review it." It appeared in the Times, the Arizona Daily Star, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer (where the story was carried above the fold on page one).

 But these newspapers failed to include this statement by Troxell: "Based on everything we know about PCB in salmon, the FDA maintains its current advice to consumers to not alter their consumption of salmon or other fish, which is highly nutritious." And the newspapers that did carry Troxell’s endorsement of continued salmon consumption placed it at or near the end of the story. By far the worst reporting was done by Maggie Fox, “Health and Science Correspondent” for Reuters. Her story simply repeated verbatim the claims of EWG, did not contain a single rebuttal or comment from the salmon farming industry or scientists expressing skepticism regarding EWG’s position, and left the reader with the clear impression that farmed salmon is “contaminated with high levels of polychlorinated biphenyls.”

 CNN Fuels Panic

 The worst offender in terms of television coverage was CNN. Soledad O'Brien of CNN began her piece: “Americans love their salmon. Only tuna and shrimp are more popular on the seafood menu, and much of the salmon we eat is farm raised. But a new study suggests that the fish might actually be a very unhealthy choice….This is really scary stuff actually.”

 And, she went on: “There are many people who are going ahead and actually eating farmed salmon, because they thought maybe the wild salmon would have mercury in it, which is another problem as well. And anybody, certainly when you're pregnant, they tell you avoid eating salmon, and so we thought farm salmon might be a better choice. It seems significantly worse.”

 In two sentences the CNN anchor managed to announce that “fish might actually be a very unhealthy choice,” and after introducing mercury, a topic that EWG hadn’t even broached in its report, state that “farm salmon” seems “significantly worse” than even mercury-tainted fish. But who can blame a mere news anchor for being confused when her “expert advisor” Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN Medical Correspondent, is apparently confused as well?

 The following exchange occurred as O’Brien attempted to get to the heart of the matter:

 O'BRIEN: “As with many medical stories, you watch this, you say, OK, I love fish, I like to eat fish. What's the take-away? Don't eat fish? Don't eat as much fish? Only eat the wild fish and not the farm fish? Stick to some other kind of fish altogether, rather than salmon, even with the whole idea that the Omega III fatty acids are more prevalent in salmon? What do you do?”

GUPTA: “Well, here's the thing, fish is still a very healthy food. Wild fish probably is going to have some of those attributes and maybe a little higher in protein and things than the farmed salmon. I think people agree on that. For the most part, you're getting these Omega III fatty acids in any sort of fish you eat there, especially the salmon, and that's going to be good for you, good for your heart.

With regards to the PCBs, it's one of those things where, yes, the levels are higher in certain kinds of fish. Is that level going to be too much? The FDA says no. They say don't worry about this. The increase in your cancer risk is so low, so minimal, you're probably not going to need to worry about it.”

 After that exchange, the audience is left frightened and confused, and certainly not sure whether salmon, or any fish for that matter, is safe for consumption.

 Media Support Anti Capitalists

 In fact, the media, in reporting on the EWG “study” performed just as the enemies of farmed salmon knew they would. Unable to distinguish between good science and bad, newspapers and television news reporters defaulted to their bias. That, of course, is toward the EWG, as an organization with the “public interest” at heart and against the suspect industry, in this case salmon farmers, as motivated primarily by profit.[8]   

 However, wouldn’t the media be prudent to at least examine the motives of the EWG?

 EWG states that it is “a not-for-profit environmental research organization dedicated to improving public health and protecting the environment by reducing pollution in air, water and food.” EWG also notes that it “is funded almost exclusively by grants from foundations. These grants vary in size and are usually one or two years in term. Major supporters past and present include the W. Alton Jones Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Beldon Fund, the Turner Foundation, and the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund.”[9]

Follow the Money

The news media is always hypercritical of the results of research funded by “corporate interests,” according them no credibility. However, no thought was given to any possibility that EWG’s research might be tainted by the influence of its funders. And just how powerful and influential are the foundations that support EWG? Suffice it to say that the six foundations listed above control a total of more than $6.3 billion in financial assets. Together they expend slightly more than $200 million in annual funding to further their environmental agendas. That kind of money spells power and influence.[10]

 The W. Alton Jones Foundation has provided $400,000 in funding to EWG for the purpose of “promoting public and policymaker understanding of the risks that pesticides and other contaminants pose to children's health.” It simultaneously granted $300,000 to the Environmental Media Services to “promote media understanding of environmental threats to children's health using a rapid response team to spotlight important, inaccurate or misleading news coverage.” The Foundation is at the forefront of worldwide efforts to promote what it calls its “Sustainable World Program,” a movement that has emerged as anti-capitalist and anti-progress. Another enterprise sponsored by the W. Alton Jones Foundation is the Society of Environmental Journalists. SEJ claims to be interested in fostering “impartial” reporting on the environment, but its organizational impartiality can best be gauged by its president, Dan Fagin, whose book “Toxic Deception” is nearly as revered by the environmental movement as is Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring.” Perhaps Fagin’s book is more important, because it has helped convince many that the private sector, motivated by profit, is nearly totally disinterested in public or consumer safety.

The Environmental Media Services (EMS) is certainly doing its part to keep journalists well informed regarding the hazards of farmed salmon. It maintains a primer on “Salmon Farming” at its website, cataloging the litany of negative claims and charges against the industry and advancing a list of “experts,” all of whom are distinctly anti salmon farming. And, of course, it served as a principal facilitator for the dissemination of EWG’s press release on its “First Ever U.S. Test of Farmed Salmon.”

 Foundations Purchase Desired Results

 The Joyce Foundation makes no bones regarding its aggressive funding of groups to promote “agricultural reform,” including aquaculture, in a manner that quite clearly demonstrates a bias in favor of financing those organizations already predisposed to “find” contamination in the environment requiring draconian regulation and restriction of industrial activity. One of the Joyce Foundation’s proudest achievements is their partial funding of the book, “Our Stolen Future,” a polemic that was roundly pilloried as absurd, but none the less has helped environmentalists advance the agenda of “lingering” chemicals, notably PCBs, wreaking havoc on the environment and our health.

 The Pew Charitable Trusts are very active in advancing the anti-capitalist environmental agenda, contributing almost $40 million to “environmental causes” in 2002. Pew’s funded research fellows produce such blinding insight as the following: “Fishing has changed the oceans more than any other human activity. And most ordinary people directly affect the oceans by eating seafood. Solutions will have to come from increased democratization, spreading decision-making across communities, and involving scientists, economists, and conservationists in addition to fishing industry representatives.”[11] Pew funded researchers have advanced such mind-boggling claims as the assertion that “only 10 percent of all large fish…are left in the sea.”[12] Clearly, Pew and its allies see the private sector as anti-environment, and the only means to environmental salvation is through “democratization”—read: socialism. We have to wonder why no one questions the possibility of “undue influence” by an organization that not only funds environmental research, but also funds National Public Radio—the first broadcast media outlet to “cover” the EWG “study.”

 The Smoking Gun?

ever, it is the Beldon Fund that provides the clearest evidence of the reality of the agenda and the role of EWG. Beldon has given EWG $400,000 to support its “Toxic Chemical Policy Project,” which includes use of “body burden data and toxic tort organizing” to reduce human exposure to toxic chemicals. EWG’s work is, as Beldon puts it, to “provide research support for toxic tort litigation.” So much for “objective” research; rather than belabor the point, it is sufficient to say that neither the Turner Foundation nor the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund are in the habit of funding organizations that might produce research supporting any benefits of aquaculture or “industrial” farming.

 All of EWG’s funders know precisely what their investment will buy, “evidence” of industrial misdeeds and ammunition for the use of what is now a worldwide movement against salmon and other fish farming.

 And there is evidence that the work against salmon farming financed by the foundations has already made its way into “toxic tort litigation.”

 Tort Lawyers Target Top Of The Food Chain

 In April 2003 a lawsuit was filed by a Seattle law firm, Smith & Lowney, against three of America’s largest grocery retailers. The claim, ostensibly, is that the grocers “misled” consumers by failing to properly label salmon fillets as “farmed” and containing “artificial coloring.” However, as Tacoma News Tribune opined in an editorial:

“This [lawsuit] is reminiscent of the dairy lobby's efforts, many years ago, to prevent margarine from being sold with yellow, butter-like coloring. Those battles weren't about the color yellow; they were about protecting the livelihoods of dairy farmers.

Nor is the argument over astaxanthin and canthaxanthin really about the color of farmed salmon. Those two compounds are considered harmless by the Food and Drug Administration and are probably about as safe as anything added to American food. Closely related to beta-carotene, they are common in nature and appear to provide a variety of health benefits. Found in creatures as varied as lobsters and flamingoes, they give wild salmon their distinctive color.

The lawsuit, then, isn't about consumer safety per se - it is about stigmatizing farmed salmon.”[13]

The lawsuit certainly appears designed to reduce demand for farmed salmon by punishing retailers of the product. The aggressive strike against the retailers suggests that neither color nor labeling is at the heart of the effort; rather the lawsuit is clearly designed to damage salmon farming and advance the wild salmon fishing industry. Smith & Lowney issued a press release that stated:

 “lack of labeling also misleads the public into thinking they're buying wild salmon, avoiding the problems associated with farm-raised salmon including:

  • Contamination from antibiotics and exposure to pesticides and other chemicals
  • Risks to wild salmon and other aquatic species from disease and parasites which escape from fish farm pens
  • Misrepresentation of health benefits - according to the US Department of Agriculture, farmed Atlantic salmon is over 200 percent higher in saturated fat than wild pink or chum salmon
  • Impacts on marine ecosystems from fish farm pollution.”

Smith & Lowney goes on to state that the lawsuit is “designed to protect millions of consumers who purchase farm-raised salmon from the three chains, and call for:

  • Damages for consumers, expected to exceed tens of millions of dollars for each chain
  • A court order requiring the chains to inform consumers that the salmon are artificially colored
  • Civil penalties for violation of various consumer protection statutes.”

 The law firm lists two individuals with indisputable anti-salmon farming credentials, John Volpe from the University of Alberta, and Anne Mosness, of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy as informational “contacts” regarding the lawsuit. Volpe is a leading advocate of the proposition that, despite actual scientific evidence to the contrary, salmon escaping from farms into the wild will reproduce and lead to “an ecological disaster.” Ms. Mosness is a longtime advocate of “wild” salmon and an opponent of salmon farming. She is associated with the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), an organization dedicated to preventing any further growth in what it calls “Factory Fish Farming.”

 In fact, a news release dated April 16, 2003 by industry wide publisher IntraFish contained the following:

 “IntraFish learned yesterday that Anne Mosness of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) is considering bringing a class action lawsuit against retailers and possibly state agencies, for failing to comply with the federal regulation [on labeling].

Although the process is still in the preliminary stage, Mosness said that a number of food safety groups have expressed interest in the issue. “This is definitely a health issue. If they are negligent, they need to be held to task.”
While the law firm has attempted to cover up the truth—namely that the so-called “plaintiffs” have a self-serving agenda—the cat is out of the bag.  In fact, one of the listed “plaintiffs” in the lawsuits is himself a practitioner of “environmental law.” Christopher Krupp, who is listed as one of two plaintiffs against Krogers, is a staff lawyer for the Western Land Exchange Project of Seattle, an organization that opposes all exchanges of “public lands” that facilitate private development.

 Clear Evidence Of The Conspiracy

 Evidence of close coordination of this effort to “monkey wrench” the salmon farming industry abounds, from the development of a homogonous list of salmon farming “evils,” to the coordinated support of the idea that wild salmon are superior in every way.

 What is under way is a transparent effort to reverse and countermand the working of the free market. Consumers have responded to the entrepreneurs in the salmon farming industry by purchasing their high quality product. The growth of the industry occurred without coercion, was in response to true consumer needs and reflective of the free, informed choices of the public and absent political interference is likely to continue to grow to meet the world’s burgeoning food needs. Now, “activists’ unable to persuade the public through legitimate information and education, and competitors unable to offer comparable quality products as abundantly or at equivalent prices are enlisting their most powerful weapons.

 And those are the courts, where tort lawyers will attempt to exact multi-million dollar penalties in order to destroy the economics of the industry, and the regulatory authorities that organizations like the Environmental Working Group hope to panic into enacting draconian new regulations that will serve the same end.

 Those who doubt the deadly serious nature of this organized effort need to absorb the following excerpt from the “Friends of Clayoquot Sound”:

 SALMON FARMING MARKETS CAMPAIGN

Bought any fish that's farmed and dangerous lately? We sure hope not . . . and that's the message we're taking to consumers, retailers and chefs along the west coast of Canada and the US now that the Farmed and Dangerous markets campaign is underway.
The Farmed and Dangerous campaign, spearheaded by Friends of Clayoquot Sound, Living Oceans Society and the David Suzuki Foundation, is a joint project of the Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform (CAAR) - a coalition of ten environmental and First Nations groups that have been working together for the past two years on developing and implementing a coordinated campaign to stop open netcage salmon farming in BC's oceans.
The markets campaign is a key element of CAAR's multi-faceted work. We're educating consumers, retailers and chefs about the environmental and health issues associated with salmon farming, and asking them to stop buying and selling this product until the salmon farming industry makes the reforms necessary to address these issues effectively.  We're focusing particularly on the western US, where it's estimated that approximately 75% of BC's farmed salmon is consumed. The campaign is a hybrid of the forestry related markets work that BC environmentalists are famous for, as well as similar campaigns in the US dealing specifically with food related issues.
The Friends' role involves working with chefs and retailers to get farmed salmon off of their menus and out of their stores. Ever seen our bumperstickers? They read, "Friends don't let friends eat farmed salmon." So far we're living up to this motto . . . already over 70 chefs and retailers have signed on in support of what we're asking. Those who've signed on to date include white tablecloth chefs from California to BC, two grocery chains in Seattle, and several smaller retailers along the west coast. Now that the campaign is underway, we're starting work with larger companies and we're optimistic that more and more businesses will come to recognize why they too should stop selling farmed salmon.[14]

 Ultimately, Economic Freedom Is At Stake

 The campaign against farmed salmon includes the distribution of “toxic news,” political and marketing campaigns like the one above, lawsuits, and even the destruction of property as occurred last December when the Forest Action Network “deconstructed” a salmon farm’s fish hatchery.

 Just as the effort to “get” Big Tobacco started with a seemingly unrelated series of disparate efforts designed to “warn” the public and “educate” regarding the dangers of tobacco, and culminated in the looting of hundreds of billions of dollars, so the effort has begun against “Big Food.” The salmon farming industry may be just one of several “coalmine canaries” warning us of what’s to come. Both the food industry and its customers need to beware, stay informed and engage in no less vigorous an effort than their opponents. We are happy to join such a fight to protect economic freedom, the free market and, frankly, our liberty.

 

[1] Among the most vocal critics was Dr. Charles Santerre, Associate Professor , Department of Foods and Nutrition Purdue University, who took the unusual step of writing the editors of Chemosphere and demanding that they “further review this manuscript and attempt to clarify this situation with readers and reviewers.”
[2] From the American Educational Research Association
[3] From the IFCNR Fisheries Committee statement “EWG Assault on Farmed Salmon Opens below Canada's Border” released August 4, 2003. The World Bank defines NGOs as "private organizations that pursue activities to relieve suffering, promote the interests of the poor, protect the environment, provide basic social services, or undertake community development" (Operational Directive 14.70). In wider usage, the term NGO can be applied to any non-profit organization which is independent from government. NGOs are typically value-based organizations which depend, in whole or in part, on charitable donations and voluntary service.
[4] Source: The SeaWeb Aquaculture Clearinghouse
[5] From “The Next Generation: Where the Global Seafood Industry is Going” by Kristan Hutchison, Juneau Empire
[6] From “Report Suggests High PCB Levels In Farmed Salmon” By Eric Pianin Washington Post Staff Writer Wednesday, July 30, 2003; Page A02
[7] “The press releases are based on two bodies of information: one report by Miriam Jacobs, University of Surrey, which is actually a, non-peer reviewed extended abstract presented at the "dioxin conference 2000 in Monterey, CA, USA in august 2000 and published in the meeting report series: Organohalogen Compounds, vol 47 (2000); the other information is from Michael Easton, of the David Suzuki Foundation, Canada, which is actually a non-published personal communication. In both cases the number of samples analysed is very low and thus would only allow a "snap-shot' type of information on the state of contamination of the various salmon, at different locations and of the fish feed.” This, according to Bram Brower, Professor of Environmental Toxicology, Institute for Environmental Studies, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
[8] Indeed, some news outlets even suggested that the FDA, in setting its standards less strictly than the EPA, was unduly influenced by its consideration of “economic factors,” leaving the reader to infer that the EPA, in setting much stricter standards, was correct in taking a “zero tolerance no matter what the cost” approach, and that the FDA was compromising consumer safety in favor of the salmon farming industry.
[9] From the Environmental Working Group Internet Website: http://www.ewg.org/about.html
[10] From the foundations’ financial reports.
[11] Pew Fellow Carl Safina quoted in a Grantee Press Release by Pew Fellows in Marine Conservation, entitled “Leading Experts Confirm Immediate International Action Is Needed to Save World's Fisheries”
[12] According to findings of a Pew-funded study published in Nature (May 15, 2003)
[13] From “Farmed salmon: Pink filets are not the issue”  Published April 25th, 2003, The News Tribune
[14] Much more information on the extent of the coordinated effort to end salmon farming and those involved can be found at http://www.focs.ca/1campaigns/1markets.html