Monday, July 01, 2013

The Attack On Science Continues

Scientists in Canada have rightly complained about the Harper Government's politicization of the communication of research results, whether that is stripping funding from the the Experimental Lakes Area or sending "minders" to accompany scientists attending conferences.

Well, the degree of politicization goes further.  It seems that when a lab found a virus in farmed salmon, they found themselves stripped of their reference lab status.

Kibenge is not alone in finding positive test results for ISAv in BC salmon.  Several other labs have reported the virus.
 
  • Dr. Kristi Miller reports finding ISAv in farmed salmon on the west coast of Vancouver Island, Cohen exhibit 2053, and sockeye, Cohen Exhibit 2060
  • Dr. Are Nylund reports positive ISAv test results
  • Dr. Kyle Garver, Cohen Exhibit 2043, 2056
  • Dr. Sonja Saksida -, BC Centre for Aquatic Health Services, reported ISA PCR positives to the CFIA in the farm Chinook salmon from Creative Salmon, Cohen Exhibit 2055.
  • A 2004 draft paper coauthored by Drs. Molly and Fred Kibenge and Drs. Simon Jones and Garth Traxler (DFO) reporting 115 ISA virus positive results. These results demonstrate up to 99.7 per cent identity to an ISAv isolate from Norway. Sequence was produced. Positive samples included farmed Atlantic, wild salmon from Alaskan waters, throughout BC and Cultus Lake sockeye, Cohen Exhibit 2045, (See video – “DFO scientist suppresses positive ISA virus test results”)

Interesting, when the CFIA makes the following rather elliptical claim:

What exactly did Kibenge do wrong? Neither OIE nor CFIA will say exactly why they removed Kibenge’s OIE status, but they do make reference to non-repeatable results, which means the lab the CFIA is using isn’t getting the same results as Kibenge.
Do not seek and you shall not find
Nearly every lab that doesn’t have direct ties with either the government or salmon industry seems to be able to find at least segments of the virus. Meanwhile, every lab that has a vested interest in not finding the virus can’t seem to detect it.
It’s easy to not find this virus if you don’t want to. Here is why: If a virus is imported to a new country, it doesn’t stay the same for long. Influenza viruses like ISAv are known for their rapid mutations, which is precisely what makes them so dangerous.

If you use a PCR test that only reports an exact match as a “positive” you could easily miss the virus, since even a slight change will make it “invisible” to a probe that is looking for an exact sequence. Kibenge's lab was using a technique that was reading the sequences of the virus, rather than just using a probe that only reports an exact match of a very specific sequence. This is how Kibenge was able to pick up on viral sequences that contained slight variations of the virus, as well as fragments.
Hmmm...so you find different results than the government wants, and you suddenly find yourself stripped of credentials?  To paraphrase Shakespeare, something is rotten in Ottawa.

Think I am exaggerating?  Take a look at this e-mail from the CFIA:


Internal CFIA memo made public


This entire case is a clear example of the kind of politicization that the Harper Conservatives have been engaging in on all fronts.  They are enabling a large scale propaganda campaign to an extent which Canadians have never experienced before, and is drawn from some of the most oppressive regimes that this planet has ever seen.

If they are willing to politicize on this scale, it isn't hard to imagine that recent changes to passports in Canada represent something nefarious.

... oh yes ... Happy Canada Day

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