New York Times Regrets the Error
Chilean News React
Read the NYT Retraction
President of SOTA Comments
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Salmon of the Americas Inc. manages to get the New York Times to correct their error. SOTA worked alongside a Washington DC based public relations firm that specializes in challenging critical media errors. Together they pointed out the many inaccuracies referenced by the Times and insisted that the Times explain why facts were not checked before running such an article. SOTA and its PR firm managed to press the Times to correct the many errors in the article that led towards achieving a correction issued by the paper. Corrections issued by the New York Times are typically unheard of but our members and the industry deserved nothing less. The newspaper admitted that it had incorrectly identified Adolfo Flores, a security guard working at the port of Castro, Chile as the port director in a story about the Chilean Salmon industry that had originally run in the paper on March 27 [Salmon Virus Indicts Chile’s Fishing Methods]. In turn, the paper also admitted that in light of the new information, it should not have used Flores as an authoritative source in the story and that the original reporting on the use of hormones and pigments in salmon farming was unreliable.
After the correction issued by the Times, Chilean newspapers took the correction and posted it on their front pages making headlines all throughout South America. El Mercurio launched its story to inquire how the author of the Times article could possibly have mistaken Adolfo Flores for the director of the port.  After further investigation, El Mercurio reported that Flores swears to have never met with the reporter from the Times. To read the article in Spanish from El Mercurio click here
An article on March 27 reported on a virus, infectious salmon anemia, or I.S.A., killing millions of salmon cultivated for export by Chile’s salmon farming industry. It quoted an official at the port of Castro, Chile, describing bags of fish food stored at the facility by Marine Harvest, a Norwegian company, as containing antibiotics, pigments and hormones. The official, Adolfo Flores, identified himself as the port director. He in fact worked as a security guard, The Times learned subsequently. Had the Times been aware of his actual position at the time, it would not have cited him as an authority on the contents of the bags, which were labeled medicated food. The article also should have noted that Marine Harvest and SalmonChile, an industry association, deny that they use hormones or that the pigments they use pose any risk to consumers.
“While we're pleased that the paper has made a correction, one that we brought to their attention in the first place, it's this sort of sloppy mistake that should discredit the entire way they do business,” said Salmon of the Americas President Rafael Puga, “Instead of getting the story right on a number of issues, the Times simply cribbed a bill of particulars from environmental extremists and their allies. In turn, the paper presented a number of issues concerning international aquaculture as settled, when it fact there is considerable dispute about the claims of industry critics.”
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