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Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) scientists have found malachite green, a known carcinogen, in organically raised Chinook salmon in a second fish farm (Creative Salmon) on Vancouver Island.

The chemical, which was once used to kill fungus in fish eggs, was banned in Canada in 1992. Since that time, Health Canada has had a zero tolerance level with respect to the substance.

Creative Salmon has expressed shock at the findings and is unable to explain how malachite green appeared in its fish. The company has notified all of its customers as well as the local community of the situation and has suspended harvesting until further testing can be done to verify the results.

The company states it has never used the chemical and is hoping that there was a laboratory error. Additional samples have been sent to CFIA and an independent laboratory for analysis.

Creative Salmon ships most of its fish to the United States. It also ships to Japan and other areas in Canada including the local village of Tofino.

A local environmental group, Friends of Clayoquot Sound, sees this as one more example of the “cocktail of chemicals and contaminants” in British Columbian farmed salmon. It maintains that consumer protection must come first when carcinogens are involved and so all of Creative Salmon’s fish stocks should be destroyed.

The group is extremely disturbed by the fact that British Columbian farmed salmon is once again contaminated with a cancer-causing substance making it unfit for consumption.

Japan permits malachite green levels of 5 parts per billion. The United States does not test for the substance. The fish in question tested at 0.33 parts per billion.

The second farm with a positive test result earlier in June was one operated by the Stolt Sea Farm group.

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