P.E.I. lab criticized over B.C. fish finding
A P.E.I. lab that said it detected a deadly fish virus in British Columbia salmon lacked proper quality standards and didn't thoroughly investigate conflicting test results, a review has found.
The examination of the research laboratory at the Atlantic Veterinary College in Prince Edward Island was done by an independent panel for the World Organization for Animal Health, or OIE.
Earlier this month, the lab was stripped of its prestigious reference status as one of only two facilities in the world recognized by OIE to test for infectious salmon anemia.
The review, released Monday, says the lab had no formal quality system in place and there was a risk of cross-contamination of samples.
The investigators also said they were surprised the lab received no funding from the school or the federal government. The report recommended that the school or government provide core funding if they wanted to maintain a reference lab.
The lab is run by Fred Kibenge, who is considered one of the world's leading authorities on infectious salmon anemia, but whose work came under scrutiny in 2011 after he said he found evidence of the virulent disease in wild B.C. sockeye salmon.
His finding challenged the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's position that the virus is not present in the province.