DFO gets all “fuzzy” on infectious diseases
The Cohen Inquiry took a dramatic turn late this morning when Alexandra Morton’s stoic nay heroic lawyer Greg McDade took centre stage cross-examining DFO’s Dr. Laura Richards. Almost immediately his line of questioning on infectious disease and ‘Salmon Leukemia’ had Dr. Richards, regional director of science at DFO, calling out in distress and issuing an S.O.S. Dr. Richards is clearly very coy and uncomfortable on the witness stand. What diseased-skeletons are hiding in DFO’s closet Dr. Richards?
If she was on the quiz show - ‘Who Wants To Be a Millionaire’- the eminent Dr. Richards would have used up her life-lines within 30 seconds. Sorry Dr. Richards, as regional director of science, you really should be able to give an answer to the question: “What is vertical transmission?”.
“My brain went fuzzy,” spluttered Dr. Richards as she searched for the simple answer. Maybe her brain was addled due to eating too much dioxin and PCB-contaminated farmed salmon?
Every sixth-grade student, teenage single mom, Sarah Palin and even her 3-year old grandson knows that vertical transmission is also known as mother-to-child transmission. Doh – maybe that’s why Fisheries Minister Gail Shea has allowed the import of farmed salmon eggs potentially infected with Infectious Salmon Anaemia to British Columbia?
Yet Dr. Richards refused to provide an answer in case she got it wrong. And on she stumbled and bumbled like Gordon Campbell gone wild in Hawaii. Greg McDade, continued to press Dr. Richards who was as credible a witness as O J Simpson.
Greg McDade cornered Dr. Richards on infectious diseases and on 'Salmon Leukemia' in particular - citing various documents tabled as exhibits.
Exhibits and transcripts from today’s hearing will be available soon via the Cohen Commission. In the meantime, you can track the Cohen Inquiry online via Facebook's group 'Salmon Inquiry - Cohen Commission Watch'.
Thankfully for Dr. Richards she was saved by the bell for lunch by Justice Cohen. The public hearing resumes at 2pm but Dr. Richards is already looking like a sea-lice infested juvenile salmon and may not be able to take many more lines of questioning on infectious diseases. Dr. Richards then scurried off like an escaped farmed Atlantic salmon for lunch where she would have been spoilt for choice.
Mmmm – maybe DFO's regional director of "fuzzy" science opted for the malachite green-contaminated farmed salmon? Or perhaps she plumped for the ‘organic’ farmed salmon marinaded in antibiotics such as Florfenicol? Or the soft-flesh of kudoa-infested farmed salmon sourced from Marine Harvest Canada? Or sea-lion unfriendly farmed salmon from Cermaq?
Whatever the case you can bet your bottom dollar that this DFO regional director of science stuffed her face with farmed salmon rather than supporting wild salmon. When her boss – Fisheries Minister Gail Shea – visited Norway to promote BC’s farmed salmon (at the same time as the Fraser River sockeye crash of 2009 was first reported) she gorged herself on sea-lice infested farmed salmon. Perhaps that explains who DFO is blind to reason on the sea lice and disease issue?
Another sure fire bet is that the brain of Dr. Richards is going to get even more "fuzzy" this afternoon as Greg McDade grills her further. Sorry Dr. Richards, no - you cannot phone a friend or ask the audience!
More to come later this afternoon where Dr. Laura Richards is still on the witness stand.