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Norway and France in war of words over farmed salmon
Published:  12 July, 2010

A WAR of words has opened up between France and Norway over the quality of Norwegian farmed salmon.

A recent French television documentary entitled 'Risks On A Plate'  claimed farmed salmon was not all it was cracked up to be and it could even pose a health risk.

However, Norway has hit back with the Norwegian Press reporting that Fisheries Minister  Lisbeth Berg-Hansen, who comes from a fish farming family in northern Norway, declaring that she was going to speak with her French counterpart Bruno Le Maire but also to send him a written guarantee that Norwegian salmon is “completely safe” and that food and health authorities haven’t found any illegal or dangerous substances in the fish.

Mrs Berg- maintained that too many opponents of fish farming can’t document their claims, and that it’s easy to come out with incorrect information. Her government colleague, Business and Trade Minister Trond Giske, told reporters in Oslo on Wednesday that he wasn’t worrying too much about the bad publicity.

France is one of Norway's largest salmon customers  which is why Oslo is so concerned about the publicity the TV documentary has generated. This is not the first attack on salmon farms. Three months ago environmentalists in the Canadian state of British Columbia staged a protest march against fish farms, claiming they were damaging the  wild salmon.

The Norwegian Food Safety Council has issued a statement on its website declaring that farmed salmon is perfectly safe. The defence of Norwegian is coming from further afield with even   Else Berit Eikeland, the Norwegian ambassador to Canada, saying it was safe when she spoke at a recent public meeting.

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