Federal officials confirm that farmed salmon with trace amounts of a banned chemical made it to store shelves recently.
The chinook came from a Stolt Sea Farm Inc. facility on British Columbia's East Thurlow Island.
The chemical in question is called malachite green. The chloride compound was once used as a fungicide in hatcheries, but was banned from the food chain in 1992 after Health Canada cited mounting evidence that it was carcinogenic.
Stephen Jay Stephen, who is investigating for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), said once the chemical was discovered a recall was launched.
However, Stephen said there is very little public health risk because there was such a low level of malachite green detected.
In all, about 36,000 kilograms of tainted fish are believed to have made it to market. It is not known how much of the total was bought by Canadian consumers.
Stolt Sea farms won't be able to sell on Canadian markets the 310,000 chinook still swimming at the farm in question.
CFIA approval is needed even if Stolt wants to export all of the fish to countries that don't have a zero-tolerance policy for malachite green.
Dale Blackburn, vice-president of west coast operations for Stolt, says the company has not used the chemical for years.
The provincial fisheries ministry says it's investigating the sale of fish eggs believed to be the source of the malachite green.
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Imported Seafood Goes Untested by Michael Milstein, The Oregonian 9/14/3
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