Call for Salmon Disease Labelling Sparks Debate

by Ella

The Norwegian Consumer Council has called for greater transparency in the labeling of salmon, advocating for disclosure when salmon sold in stores have a history of illness. However, the industry has strongly opposed this idea, arguing that fish diseases do not pose a risk to human consumers.

Norwegian salmon farmers have faced significant challenges this year due to various biological diseases, including infectious salmon anaemia (ISA) and gill disorders. The Consumer Council contends that the Norwegian public would generally support such labeling, as consumers are increasingly interested in knowing more about production conditions at fish farms. Reports of fish welfare issues along the coast have further fueled this demand.


Lise Blyverket, Director of the Consumer Council, emphasized that consumers purchasing products labeled as premium items should be informed if those products were previously afflicted by illness before slaughter.


In a recent revelation, the Norwegian Food Safety Authority was said to have discovered attempts to process salmon that had fallen sick in the cages for human consumption. Additionally, fish with gill disorders, parasites, and heart diseases have been slaughtered and sold to consumers.


Arne Grøttum, Director of Aquaculture at the Norwegian Seafood Council, expressed reservations about the proposed labelling. He stated, “Firstly, this is not about food safety. Secondly, it is very difficult to implement. And thirdly, it is a bit strange that this type of labelling scheme should be introduced for salmon and not for other animal meat production.” Grøttum highlighted that the aquaculture sector already adheres to stringent health and safety regulations.




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