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David talks, facts walk

I shake my head every time I see someone voicing concerns on social media using data from David Suzuki to back their stance.

I have written in the past on Suzuki and Ronald Hites's demarketing campaign; using parts of the media to create fear over farmed salmon.

Kivalliq News Editor Darrell Greer
Kivalliq News Editor Darrell Greer

Suzuki took credit for discovering farmed salmon in B.C. were heavily contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and other toxins, but the wild salmon tested actually had higher levels of mercury than the farmed.

But, since Suzuki only tested eight fish, it was all meaningless with a sample size that small anyway.

Hites made a global impact stating the levels of PCBs in farmed Atlantic salmon were eight times that of wild Pacific salmon.

But the difference was between 0.0366 ppm (parts per million) and 0.0048 ppm, which is absolutely meaningless because the tolerable level for PCBs in fish is 2.0 ppm.

The media saw the drama in the numbers, however, and used sensational headlines to report on the study around the globe.

People railed against farmed salmon in alarming numbers, ignoring the European Food Safety Authority stating there was absolutely no difference in regards to safety or nutritional benefit between wild or farmed fish and, subsequently, a U.S. Institute of Medicine report that farmed salmon is higher in omega-3 fatty acids than any other commonly eaten fish and is very low in contaminants, especially mercury.

Had wild/farmed Atlantic, or wild/farmed Pacific, salmon been compared, the result would have been the opposite, showing higher levels of contaminants in the wild fish.

The media reported cancer risks associated with farmed salmon in 90 per cent of its stories, despite the fact research findings didn’t indicate any such risks.

Suzuki showed his commitment to the farmed salmon demarketing campaign by having Pamela Anderson (yes, that Pamela Anderson) join the fight in 2016.

Suzuki also recently claimed Canada ranks 25th among rich countries on children's well-being, partly because of its failure to improve air quality.

However, a study by the Fraser Institute – focusing on the five major air pollutants – shows Canada's air pollution has substantially declined since the 1970s and complies with the world's strictest air quality standards.

It shows more than 70 per cent of air-quality monitoring stations across Canada reported ozone concentrations above the air-quality standard in the late 1970s, but, by 2015, it had fallen to just 16 per cent.

And, from 2000 to 2015, fine particulate matter (smoke, aerosols) concentrations consistently remained below the most stringent air-quality standard.

It's time for environmental alarmists to find another source for their claims, as Suzuki seems more intent on pushing his own agenda than worrying about inconvenient facts.