Canadian authorities grant full approval for SLICE28 July, 2009 – The Veterinary Drugs Directorate in Canada has given full approval to the use of SLICE® (emamectin benzoate), a leading product for controlling immature and adult stages of sea lice in farm-raised salmon.The approval was granted after the parasiticide met all of Health Canadas requirements for human safety, according to the products developer, Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health.SLICE® has been used in Canada since 1999, when Health Canada authorised it for sale to veterinarians on a case-by-case basis through the Veterinary Drugs Directorate’s Emergency Drug Release (EDR) programme. A specific Canadian-labeled product will not be available until the end of the year; in the meantime, the EDR-labeled product will continue to be available.Sea lice attack the skin of the fish, making them more susceptible to other infections and eventually leading to reduced muscle mass and death. Superficial damage on lice-infected salmon can also reduce their market value for aesthetic reasons.In Canada, SLICE® 0.2% Premix is indicated as an aid in the treatment of parasitic infestations caused by all parasitic stages of the sea louse (Lepeophtheirus salmonis) on Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar). The product is approved in Canada with no required withdrawal time before harvest. SLICE® is already approved for use in many other markets with farmed salmon, including the United Kingdom, Ireland, Norway and Chile.The full approval of emamectin benzoate will be welcomed by Canadian salmon farmers who, until now, have been widely criticised by anti-salmon farm activists for using an unapproved chemical. In a recent press release the Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform said: SLICE is a known neurotoxin and is classified as a marine pollutant. Its use in aquaculture as an additive to feed has not been approved by Health Canada or by the US Food and Drug Administration, which is responsible for regulating chemicals used in food products sold on the US market, by far the largest buyer of Canadian farmed salmon. In depth research has not been conducted on the effects of SLICE on non-target organisms and the environment in BC, making the increased dependence on this chemical an unaddressed issue.