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.”
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.