Monday, 19 June 2017

Scientists Harassed by Fish Farms, Norwegian Government, Updated July 14, 2017

Fish Farms and the Norwegian Government have routinely criticized any negative results of scientific studies. The rule is that if you do it, your career will be ruined in Norway. 

It is a global pattern that fish farms go after their critics, for example, Don Staniford, was sued, several times. Alex Morton is regularly harassed by the industry that is now suing her for trespassing, though it dropped its case against the aboriginals who asked her to go with them. She is being taken to court for scooping some tern poop from a buoy with a spoon.

This article discusses 20 scientists, including Hites et al about pollutants in Scotland farmed fish, a Science article from January 9, 2004. Hites is where I came into this issue. David Miller, UK academic, criticized the media blitz that the Scotland government and fish farms colluded to put together to destroy Hites' credibility, even though his results were correct.

This is the article I wrote about Miller's article:

Hites is among the scientists that have been targets of harassment in this article: ttps://

I'll give you a few snippets from it. It is Google Translated and so its English has problems.The original article is far longer than the quotes I use here.

Henrik Huitfeldt, physician and toxicologist at Rikshospitalet.

"Henrik Huitfeldt was "awakened" by criticizing Hites and Carpenter. He felt that Norwegian food authorities reduced the environmental costs. As he sees, it is well documented that Norwegians 
are exposed to such high levels of environmental pollutants, especially in oily fish, that results in lower IQ scores, increased incidence of adhd-like symptoms in children, and increased obesity and Diabetes type 2. He says he is surprised that the fish farming industry does not want to clean the fish feed for these poisons: "It could have given farmed salmon as low poison levels as other foods." 

Purification technology has been around for 15 years."

Torbjørn Forseth, Senior Researcher at the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (Nina)

"Both NINA and HI (Marine Research Institute) can be purchased, which has also happened and continues," Reppe wrote. "It was easy for the aquaculture industry to buy good reports from NINA and HI". Another breeder voted in favor of: "There is a cheating in river research, VRL and NINA have more or less confirmed their research reports," but this surpasses the wildest fantasies. "

And: "Forseth had researched wild salmon for years, published internationally and was accustomed to professional criticism. However, the assaults on his integrity were new. He took it hard, not to sleep. None of the alleged offenses were documented, reported or reported to the research ethics committees, everything just hanged in the air."

Laks Kan odelegge karrieren

"Why do you need to be anonymous?

I'm not naive. Norway is a seafood nation, and Norwegian seafood is a policy. Researching critically and going to the press with the discovery can hurt your career. Those who work with this get no promotions, some baktales or trivialized. Others struggle to get research funding."

Øystein Skaala, researcher at the Institute of Marine Research (HI). This is the only one that I have given you all of the text. The rest are snippets.

"The first e-mail came in January 2016. "This request is for access to all e-mails sent and received from the e-mail address of Øystein Skaala concerning research andmanagement of Guddalselva." The claim was sent by law firm Steenstrup Stordrange. The client was secret.

Later the lawyers demanded access to emails and text messages from two other researchers, Terje Svåsand and Kevin Glover. Deleted emails and text messages were required restored.

Øystein Skaala had worked at the Institute of Marine Research (HI) for thirty years.  For many years it was difficult to fund research on the environmental impact of farming, he said - it was referred to as "misery research". However, it improved and Skaala and colleagues worked on surveillance programs for escaped farmed fish and salmon lice. They developed, among other things, a DNA-based method to trace
escaped fish. HI and partners also created an elvelab in Guddalselva.

 In 2015, he sought the Research Council's Antiquarian Program for funds to create
He made the system for catching escaped farmed salmon in rivers. Together with a colleague.
he presented the application in Oslo. There he felt that they had a "fair discussion",

but the aquaculture industry's representative in the expert panel argued "aggressively

against the need for the project". The application was rejected. The Research Council
stated that the project was not set by the panel because it had "too little commercial
potential (market opportunities, customers)" and that "the research had not gone far
enough to proceed in a verification process."

Last year, the inquiry requests came. "The law firm and their client should see
everything, emails, phone logs, and expanded the requirements for years backwards,"
says Karin Kroon Boxing Pen at HI. "People at HI felt they were under attack." Skaala
and others felt at the same time hanging out in social media.

In March 2016, the law firm on behalf of the Norwegian Seafood Association (NSL) sent

a "concern message" to the Minister of Fisheries Per Sandberg about HI's research in Guddalselva. The result was a meeting, where Minister of Fisheries Sandberg met representatives from NSL and HI. The Minister stated after the meeting that HI "is and is
going to be a nutrition-friendly institute". To Bergens Tidende he said that "politicians have
laid the framework for how the aquaculture industry is going to grow, and HI will share the ambitions for those decisions. We will grow five to six times until 2050. " "HI shall assume
that it is proper."

In retrospect, Skaala says that, due to the lawyer's claims, he spent half of his work last year
on "meaningless things". The research became victimous.

Attorney Lars Alsaker at Steenstrup Stordrange, now called Sands, expresses that the scope
of the requests for access was exaggerated in the media but did not comment on the matter.

"When we see that laymen and law firms are controllers of scientific quality, society is at
odds," says Skaala. "Science has established quality assurance systems. If research is to be subject to arbitrary laymen, we are back in the Middle Ages, where the Inquisition controls the research.""

Jon Olaf Olaussen, Professor at NTNU School of Business.

“If you did not get enough funds from the industry, a sort of selection occurred. The critics disappeared or researched other fields.

Commander of Sintef Fisheries and Aquaculture, Karl Andreas Almås, said openly to the class struggle where he stood: "The salmon industry needs all the positive support it can have and we will contribute." According to the shareholder register, Almas had shares in the fish farm giant Salmar.

And: "When we ask CEO Vegar Johansen of Sintef Ocean AS about this, he says that one of the driving forces of them is "developing the great potential of the harbor industries" and "if you do not believe it, it may be difficult to work here ".”

And: “Last year, Olaussen was invited to debate with Fisheries Minister Per Sandberg at NRK. The minister had mentioned critical voices in the salmon debate as "dark opposites" and asked for "nutritional research". Olaussen argued against. As Olaussen recounts the episode, the minister yelled at him after sending:

"I do not want anything to do with such people, Sandberg must have said before turning his back.

Per Sandberg today answers that he wants to comment on questions about research, but not from Olaussen, when during the television debate he must have brought a parallel to the research team in Nazi Germany.”

Kjetil Hindar and Tor Næsje, researchers at the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (Nina), Hindar since 1987.

“First, they said, "You have not shown that it's our fish that has escaped." When research showed it, they said, "You have not shown that the salmon spills." When we showed it, they said, "You have not Shown that they are leaving viable progeny. "When research showed it, they said:" You have not shown that they compete with wild salmon about food and space "or" ... that they cross the wild axis and create changes in the gene material "which Both are shown before. The whole time "you have not shown that".

And: “Frode Reppe, who then chaired Frøya Ap, accused him of research illness. Despite a clarification meeting, the charges continued. When Nina published a research report in 2012 prior to a meeting with Fisheries Minister Lisbeth Berg-Hansen, Reppe believed that Hindar had acted as a political actor. In an email to Nina's leadership, Reppe demanded that "there should be another job for Hindar". If Hindar's colleague Tor Næsje was involved in the present case, there would be "another job also for him".

And: “Tor Næsje says: Parts of the industry, for example, deny our estimates on escaped farmed salmon. We use five methods to measure this. Everybody has insecurity. No numbers are hidden. When someone from the industry then attends a seminar and says they have evidence of cheating, it becomes serious.

Anne-Lise Bjørke Monsen, senior physician and researcher at Haukeland University Hospital.

“Anne-Lise Bjørke Monsen had told the newspaper that she did not recommend children and young ladies who would become pregnant, to eat farmed salmon.

Environmental pollutants are stored in the body and have a half life of more than ten years, Monsen says. - It means that what you eat as small is stored in your body when you are 25 years old and will have your first child. Then large parts of mother's stock are transferred with pollutants to the fetus, or to the newborn through the breast milk. This happens in one phase of the child's life as the brain and the body develop rapidly. We know that salmon are one of the main sources of these environmental poisons, and according to studies published in reputable journals, they have a negative effect on brain development. Then I thought it was right to say that.”

And: “"We who warned of the environmental poisons in the salmon were not allowed by the hospital to comment," Monsen said.

"On the other hand, employees in the same hospital as financed by the seafood industry researched how positive fish were for our health.”

And: “Several media, such as TV2 and Bergens Tidende, drew Monsen's motives in doubt… “and a spokesman for the seafood industry called it a "tragic case".”

"I got a shit on me, Monsen claims. - They manage to reject references to published studies. But we have a responsibility to give the children optimal development opportunities. Then I react when Norwegian authorities recommend salmon for children and pregnant women.”

- Many are critical to your view?

"But one debate I want to travel: When much research on farmed salmon is supported by the aquaculture industry, is it science or content marketing? Medical journals discuss this. Survival of positive results is found in nutritional studies. Many studies in Norway are part-financed by industry, while critical researchers are struggling to get funding. Where will the criticism come from? Why hurry this? I will soon give up on this topic, but have held out for one reason: I see these children as a doctor and researcher. They are having health problems we could avoid. It is on the verge of grotesque.”
Top of Form

Bjørn J. Bolann, professor of medical biochemistry and general practitioner at Haukeland University Hospital.

"Even the Norwegian mother and child survey, which includes 100,000 Norwegian pregnant women, shows that even intake that is common in Norwegian diet has negative effects on young children. Nevertheless, I do not experience any curiosity from the Norwegian authorities. I increasingly suspect that what lies behind is to protect the industry and Norway as a seafood nation."

Claudette Bethune, former researcher at the National Institute for Nutrition and Seafood Research (Nifes).

"She was employed by Nifes to investigate contaminants in seafood. In the studies, she found that the levels of environmental toxicity persistent organic pollutants (POP) and brominated flame retardants were higher in farmed salmon than in wild salmon and other fish. She warned publicly about this. She and colleagues also found that farmed salmon absorbed up to ten times as much pollutants (POP) as domestic animals from the same feed."

And: "Colleagues stopped greeting me. I felt isolated. In the end, I signed a contract that left me from work and left Norway, says Bethune. John Nielsen, who worked with Bethune at Nifes, believes Bethune was "badly treated.""

Victoria Bohne, former researcher at Nifes.

 She does not want to talk about NIFES anymore. Researched ethoxyquin: "It appears that she researched a synthetic additive in the salmon feed, ethoxyquin. This was first used by the tire industry to reduce cracking. Now it is used in salmon feed to stop rubbing in the fat and to reduce the risk that the feed will catch fire during transport"

And: "She found that the drug went on to the rats. The rabbits testicles swelled.

In another attempt, for a documentary on the German television channel ZDF, she also found ethoxyquin in breast milk samples in mothers on salmon diets. She suspected that ethoxyquin could penetrate the blood-brain barrier, which should protect against viruses, bacteria and foreign matter, and into the brain." She was shunned and ultimately quit.

Anders Goksøyr, Professor of Environmental Toxicology, University of Bergen.

"We find health damage to food also with human consumption within the current limit values. Those who perceive professional criticism as attacks on the salmon industry, misunderstand. This is about the basis for our food and diet policy. And that is a public health issue. More and more studies suggest that environmental toxicity has consequences for people's health through hormone disrupting effects and metabolic diseases. Increases diabetes 2 rate from 10 percent to 12 in the population, it is important for public health and for Norwegian health benefits. We must handle these questions. We should not let possible harmful effects occur because we do not dare to talk about it - or because we are afraid of reducing people's fish consumption."

 Janne Sollie, former director of the Directorate for Nature Management (DN).

"In 2009, Janne Sollie stated that the aquaculture industry could cause a collapse of Norwegian wild salmon. The reactions were strong. People in the industry demanded her departure. She says she has not commented on this since she left four years ago."

And, she was assigned to do this work: ""I was assigned that responsibility from the Ministry of the Environment. There was pressure on Norway, including the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization, to analyze the industry's impact on wild salmon. At the same time, I noticed that there was strong resistance to bringing forward facts, she says."

And: "In addition to newspaper reports, individuals came up with information with me, with different truths and motives. Some demanded me removed from work. The sum of all this gave me a new impression of Norwegian society. I felt that there was a lack of transparency for professional education and research, and that facts were opposed. Before I knew it myself, I would not have thought that this was in Norway."

Are Nylund, Professor of Fish Health at the University of Bergen. He has worked for 30 years on fish farm diseases. He is one of only two accredited scientists in the world that take samples and come up with the disease in them. In Canada, Fred Kibenge was the other one. The available evidence shows that Kibenge was hounded out of his accreditation by the CFIA that asked the World Animal Health (OIE) organization to suspend it. In other words, it doesn't matter how good you are, the government will get you.

This s a very famous case on how ISA is spread: "In 2005, Nylund warned of the risk of infection. He experienced that he did not get an ear. In 2007, Chile's farming industry was hit by a devastating ILA [meaning ISA] epidemic. In 2008, the fishery company Aqua Gen AS sent a note to its customers, claiming that Nylund's research was unethical. In 2009, Nylund and fellow student Siri Vike published a study that showed that the primary epidemic of Chile's epidemic probably came from Norway via the robbery. Aqua Gen reported the researchers to the National Investigation Committee for dishonesty in research. The case was dealt with in three instances. The researchers were acquitted each time."

But research money dried up for him, then: "On the same day as Nylund was acquitted, Fiskeribladet Fiskaren pressed a case where anonymous sources claimed that Nylund had "poor hygienic conditions at his laboratory". Nylund and the university rejected the claims, which were never documented or passed on to relevant bodies."

Siri Vike, former doctoral candidate at the University of Bergen.

""I'm not used to having enemies. I lay a lot awake and puzzled. I was afraid, says Siri Vike, who together with Are Nylund spent three years washing out allegations of dishonesty."

And all of this is only about what happens in Norway. The people who do the science are brave people. The fish farm companies are multi-billion dollar, multi-national corporations. They have lots of $$$ to defend themselves and they do defend themselves.