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Salmon - Presence of Ethoxyquin

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Wednesday, 26 October 2022

Tags: Fish Farms, Environment


The Australian today reports that animal feed additive ethoxyquin, banned in Europe because of dangers to human health and aquatic life, has been found in Tasmanian salmon at concerning levels. It reports that the European Food Safety Authority banned ethoxyquin in 2017 and reaffirmed that ban in March because the additive was 'likely to cause mutations in the genetic material of animals and humans'. Tests by Melbourne's National Measurement Institute in commercially available salmon found levels of ethoxyquin and related compounds in Tassel and Petuna Salmon. Toxicology experts have concluded those levels combined exceed even Australia's inadequate ethoxyquin maximum limit.

The federal government is responsible for failing to safely regulate this unsafe food additive, but you are responsible for protecting Tasmania's aquatic life. Tasmanians want our waterway life to be protect from mutagen-forming chemicals. The EU's food standards are world's best practice. Will you conduct a review of ethoxyquin and related compounds in Tasmanian salmon feed and make that information publicly available?



Mr Speaker, I thank the member for her question. I do not have a current briefing on the specific matter that you have raised this morning. I will seek advice from my department, the EPA and also the offices of the minister for Primary Industry and the Minister for Health as well. I believe that the matters you have raised cross over a large number of issues, both in your question and in potentially the range of different jurisdictions and responsibilities we have.

Dr Woodruff - I am framing it to you as the minister for the Environment about aquatic life. Can you do an investigation, please?

Mr SPEAKER - Order, member for Franklin, order.

Mr JAENSCH - I will seek further advice on the matter and confer with my colleagues. It is fair, Mr Speaker, for me to do that so I am able to provide an informed response.

Dr Woodruff - And provide it to parliament?

Mr SPEAKER - Order. The member for Franklin has the call.