Lawmakers and environmentalists are demanding that the Chilean Health
Ministry (Minsal) prohibit the marketing of more than 100 tonnes of
salmon for human consumption, which is infected with the infectious
salmon anemia (ISA) virus.
The petition was filed by Senators of Magallane, Pedro Munoz, Guido
Girardi and Alejandro Navarro, the council of Punta Arenas, Mario
Pascual, and organizations like the Centro Ecocéanos,
the Latin American Observatory for Environmental Conflicts (OLCA),
Citizens Defense League for the Consumer and International Consumers.
In total, some 230 tonnes of salmon were infected by the virus, of
which only 50 were destroyed. The remaining 180 tonnes are being
processed for human consumption in the plant of Pesquera Edén.
The director of Centro Ecocéanos, Juan Carlos Cardenas, beleives that
“it is urgent that policy actions and the system for sanitary control
of the industry are strengthened to ensure the safety of the industry’s
While both the Ministry of Health and Sernapesca say the virus does
not cause problems for humans, but rather a high mortality rate for
fish, the Ecocéanos specialist warned that the virus comes from the same
family that produces the human flu and therefore has a great capacity
for mutation and adaptation to new hosts.”
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