Lassgard Bioteknik: Changes since 2049/10/08

Lassgard Bioteknik

Lassgard Bioteknik logo.

Former type

Limited company




August 5th 2021


William Lassgard

Key people

Uppsala, Sweden

Area served




Lassgard Bioteknik was an aquaculture company headquartered in Uppsala, Sweden. Founded out of Uppsala Science Park in 2021, the company’s research and development was focused on using genetic modification and full-cycle farming to replenish depleted fish stock.

In 2034, Lassgard Bioteknik introduced Lassgard tuna, which became increasingly popular in the Asian seafood market and accounted for roughly 80% of worldwide tuna consumption. In 2039, it was discovered that the company’s feeding practices for Lassgard tuna were the most likely origin of Cariappa-Muren disease (CMD).

As a result of the mass consternation surrounding the CMD pandemic and the public implication of Lassgard Bioteknik, multiple lawsuits were filed against president and CEO William Lassgard. After his reported assassination on October 29th 2039, his board and creditors were forced to manage liquidation proceedings.




Lassgard Bioteknik founder and CEO William Lassgard, pictured in 2039.

Lassgard Bioteknik was founded on August 5th 2021 in Uppsala, Sweden by William Lassgard. After receiving approval from the Swedish National Food Agency (NFA) in October 2021, Lassgard raised ¥26.2 million in a public offering of shares and an additional ¥7.5 million via crowdfunding for the installation of recirculating aquaculture systems in two warehouses outside Uppsala. In 2024, Lassgard Bioteknik made its first sale of 2.5 tonnes of adult-sized Atlantic halibut[1]


While the first generation of Lassgard halibut was being raised, research continued on genetically adapting and preparing other fish species for full-cycle aquaculture, including Atlantic salmon, red sea bream, and Indian mackerel. Lassgard was responsible for choosing these fish species for the Asian seafood market, which had grown to represent close to 70% of global fish consumption by 2025. [2]

In August 2025, Lassgard Bioteknik announced that it had successfully developed a hybrid Atlantic bluefin tuna by adding two genes from the skipjack tuna, allowing the hybrid species to spawn throughout the year and grow to market size in two to three years. To combine Lassgard tuna with full-cycle aquaculture and bolster its overall operational capacity, Lassgard Bioteknik bought out the multinational TRANSDOTT project in September 2025, refitting its facilities in Malta mainly for the production of Lassgard tuna. [3]


Lassgard Bioteknik’s head office in Uppsala, Sweden.

By 2029, Lassgard Bioteknik owned a 45% share of the global halibut market and exported over half of its entire stock to East Asia. It operated 48 land-based farming sites, 110 coastal seawater sites, four broodstock plants, and four hatcheries, all divided between Sweden and the Mediterranean. Over the following years, the company vertically integrated its supply chain and significantly expanded its operations to include Singapore, Chile, and South Africa. In 2032, the media started including Lassgard Bioteknik in the collective term Big Fish.

Lassgard tuna

In early 2031, Lassgard Bioteknik was having trouble developing its tuna stock and introducing it abroad. A combination of low larvae survival rates and inadequate artificial fish meal had resulted in the company being unable to close its tuna’s aquaculture cycle. Tuna require an exceptionally large amount of food per kilogram of weight gained, and the company’s vegetable and protein feeds did not meet the threshold for sustainable grow-out.

After its introduction, Lassgard tuna fetched consistently low marbling grades at seafood marketplaces and was generally reviewed poorly by Asian consumers for its lacking taste. Lassgard Bioteknik found itself struggling to compete with Kindai Fisheries, which had produced the first generation of farmed Pacific bluefin tuna in 2002 and had since remained the chief supplier of farmed tuna in Japan and China with a yearly output of 35,000 tonnes by 2032.

On May 11th 2034, two years to the day since the Atlantic bluefin tuna was officially declared extinct in the wild due to overfishing and anthropogenic climate changecold then hot then cold then hot, Lassgard made the announcement that his company’s researchers had developed a new artificial feed with a fat-to-protein ratio that surpassed grow-out expectations, allowing Lassgard tuna to acquire additional body fat during its aquaculture cycle. This fattening process made it an ideal choice for ōtoro sushi.


Lassgard tuna sold at an Italian fish market in 2038.

After several endorsements from renowned sushi chefs that highlighted its rich taste, the new Lassgard tuna became a prized commodity at high-end restaurants in Japan, China, and South Korea. Kindai Fisheries responded by briefly experimenting with new artificial feeds to boost its own stock of tuna, but was unable to challenge the Asian market’s newfound preference for fattier Lassgard tuna.

Following its success in East Asia, Lassgard tuna also became popular in specialised dining establishments in Europe and the Americas. Lassgard responded by initiating the sale of residual Lassgard tuna stock to retail outlets in canned form and establishing it as an upscale consumer brand. By 2039, Lassgard Bioteknik accounted for 90% of the Asian tuna market and roughly 80% of worldwide tuna consumption.

Food poisoning scandal

WHO investigation

In January 2039, the monthly bulletin of the World Health Organisation (WHO) included a notice against feeding tuna to pets. [4] This alarm was raised on behalf of Sunil Cariappa, who earlier had discovered a possible link between an increased mortality rate in domestic cats and feeding diets that included Lassgard tuna. The WHO notice ultimately did not mention Lassgard tuna by name due to objections from the Aquaculture Advisory Council (AAC).

  1. Image
    Epidemiologist Sunil Cariappa, pictured in 2047.
  2. Image
    Neurologist Connie Muren, pictured in 2039.

In July 2039, Cariappa and Connie Muren had joined an Outbreak Control Team (OCT) convened by the WHO’s Global Foodborne Infections Network (GFN) and determined that Lassgard Bioteknik’s line of tuna was contaminated with a novel prion agent. They described this foodborne illness as piscine transmissible amyloidotic encephalopathy (PTAE) and considered it to be responsible for the epizootic in cats, with further tests demonstrating that it could be transmitted to people as well.

In response, the WHO expanded the scope of the OCT and launched a bid directed at national food agencies to halt the sale of Lassgard tuna pending the team’s investigation. The AAC reacted by posting a public letter to then-WHO Director-General Yang Jinglei, stating that it would “exercise every avenue available to defeat the agenda-driven campaign against Lassgard Bioteknik and expose the dubious nature of Connie Muren’s work, including challenging the European Union’s (EU) [¥535 million] in funding to the WHO.”

To conclusively establish the origin of PTAE, the WHO requested that the Swedish Ministry of Justice subpoena Lassgard Bioteknik for all documentation pertaining to the farming process of Lassgard tuna. Lassgard Bioteknik lawyers fought the subpoena, stating that the details of this process were freely available at the Swedish patent office. It was believed that the information retained at the patent office was, at least in part, a fabrication.

While the AAC was lobbying heavily against any attempts to temporarily halt the sale of Lassgard tuna and Lassgard Bioteknik lawyers were holding up legal proceedings in Swedish courts, the company launched an aggressive marketing campaign to reassure consumers and shareholders that its tuna was safe to eat. When sales of Lassgard tuna nonetheless dipped by 2.6% during the investigation, Lassgard Bioteknik began undermining public trust in the WHO by claiming there were divisions and a lack of consensus within the OCT, giving the appearance of a scientific controversy where there was none.

Data leak


Anse Daems, pictured in 2038.

On October 10th 2039, a data cache of confidential Lassgard Bioteknik documents and internal correspondence dating back to 2030 was leaked to Anse Daems, who was working on a World News Wire (WNW) story about Lassgard Bioteknik’s use of disinformation. After the files were carefully reviewed, WNW ran a series of articles, starting on October 23rd 2039, in which it established a timeline of Lassgard Bioteknik’s malpractice and accused Big Fish as a whole of orchestrating “the most heinous disinformation campaign since climate change denial.”

The articles exposed how Big Fish had come together in an informal pact to protect Lassgard Bioteknik and the larger aquaculture industry. This pact included a disinformation campaign against Cariappa and Muren, enlisting the AAC to minimise the WHO investigation, and the funding of environmental studies in favour of farmed fish and toxicological studies that declared Lassgard tuna safe for human consumption. [5]

Origin of contamination

As WNW was vetting the articles prior to publication, it also worked in conjunction with the GFN to provide the OCT and fifteen other laboratories with all relevant files on Lassgard Bioteknik’s tuna farming process. This allowed the team to determine that Lassgard tuna were contaminated with PTAE by their feed stock, which was not artificial fish meal as its patent described, but rather a line of in-house developed processed animal protein (PAP) pellets rendered from bovine waste material.

An official investigation with access to Lassgard Bioteknik’s facilities uncovered that the company had been purchasing this waste material at low cost from abattoirs and factory farms struggling to sell their product after the meat industry started winding down due to increased social opposition. Economic pressure, rushed deprivatisation efforts, and a lack of compensation led to meatpackers cutting corners in their production cycles, which resulted in outbreaks of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) having a higher chance of going undetected. The OCT concluded that the PTAE epizootic in Lassgard tuna was most likely the result of an outbreak of BSE, which was passed to the tuna via the PAP pellets.

After the first BSE epidemic infected close to 500,000 cattle during the 1980s and 1990s, most countries had laid down regulations for the prevention of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) in animals by prohibiting the use of PAP in feed stocks. After a consensus on the safety of feeding land animal proteins to fish in 2013, the EU had relaxed these regulations and deemed PAP suitable for use in farmed aquaculture specifically. [6] This exemption had motivated Lassgard Bioteknik to keep its infrastructure for farming Lassgard tuna in Europe instead of moving it closer to its intended market to save on shipping costs.

Timeline of cover-up

The data leak revealed that Lassgard Bioteknik had been aware as early as March 2037 that its tuna stock was exhibiting erratic behaviour due to the PTAE epizootic. The cause was initially attributed to the challenging nature of handling tuna in aquaculture farms. Tuna are powerful fish and have hypersensitive reactions to external stimuli. If upset, they are known to swim at high speeds into nets, injuring themselves or dying on impact. Smart lighting systems were present for dusk and dawn simulation to reduce stress of the tuna, and Lassgard Bioteknik spent ¥4.2 million on revising these systems, as their inefficacy was believed to be responsible for the tuna’s unusual behaviour.


One of Lassgard Bioteknik’s aquaculture farms for Lassgard tuna off the coast of Malta in 2039.

When the tuna then began dying off after the erratic behaviour progressed unabated, it was believed that the culprit was actually a parasitic encephalitis caused by Miamiensis avidus[67], prompting Lassgard Bioteknik to install additional disinfection and filtration systems after increased site fallowing between farming cycles. This strategy also proved ineffective at curbing the tuna mortalities, which led to reduced production quotas and a concurrent drop in Lassgard Bioteknik’s share price in late 2037.

Ultimately, the decision was made to outfit all Lassgard tuna farms with smart cameras that made use of algorithms to track individual fish and accurately detect the behavioural anomalies that preindicated increased suicidal tendencies and death. [78] Since it took approximately two to three years for Lassgard tuna to reach market size and the anomalies only started appearing after two years, Lassgard Bioteknik began processing and shipping its tuna as soon as the algorithms signalled the ideal window between adequate growth size and onset of symptoms.

All Lassgard tuna were screened and biopsied before transfer, but the only tests in place for prions were configured to check for vacuolisation of the brain tissue and zones of spongiosis. These clinical signs are apparent with most prion diseases, including BSE, but the species transmission from cattle to fish had altered BSE’s pathogenesis so that the fish brains exhibited no vacuole formation or spongiosis. As a result, a prion infection was never considered as a causative agent.

The issue was considered resolved and would not be revisited until January 2039, when Lassgard Bioteknik was contacted by the GFN about a possible contaminant in its tuna that was responsible for an increased mortality rate in cats and at least one human casualty. The leaked data reflected that correspondence between Lassgard, his lawyers, and several other Big Fish companies peaked at this point, resulting in an agreement to jointly protect Lassgard Bioteknik while it internally dealt with the PTAE epizootic. This involved starting a new tuna farming cycle with one of the older feed stocks that did not include bovine waste material and severing ties with its suppliers in the meat packing industry.


After the WHO established a conclusive link between Lassgard Bioteknik and the outbreak of Cariappa-Muren disease (CMD), public opinion turned against the company. The WHO was able to successfully ban the sale of Lassgard tuna in October 2039, which caused the company’s share price to plummet. At the same time, multiple lawsuits and class actions were filed against Lassgard’s person by different governments and consumer organisations, which were funnelled into joint proceedings through the EU’s collective redress policy.

Lassgard became the public target of this legal campaign because, while Lassgard Bioteknik was subjected to a number of corporate fines, no criminal charges could be brought against the company. According to Swedish law, a company cannot be liable to a criminal sanction, and the use of PAP pellets was permitted under EU regulations. [6]

On October 29th 2039, Lassgard was reportedly assassinated, leaving Lassgard Bioteknik’s chair Nils Törbacka to handle the backlash. Törbacka immediately issued a statement in which he condemned the data leak as a “massive forgery” and dismissed the role of Lassgard tuna in the CMD pandemic as “at most, a contributing factor.” [89] The statement was widely ridiculed, but Törbacka doubled down and refused to cooperate with Swedish and international authorities. After he ignored an order from the WHO to shut down Lassgard Bioteknik’s facilities in Europe and East Asia, many of which had already suffered employee walkouts, the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA) concluded Lassgard Bioteknik was so fraught with problems that it had to be seized.


Lassgard Bioteknik chair Nils Törbacka arrested by Swedish police in 2039.

On November 4th 2039, the FSA appointed a liquidator and coordinated with international regulators to simultaneously lock down Lassgard Bioteknik’s offices and aquaculture farms. Törbacka and other senior officials were arrested by Swedish police when the company’s head office in Uppsala was raided, which revealed that Törbacka had been stalling authorities in order to sell off Lassgard Bioteknik’s remaining tuna stock to willing illicit market buyers.

This paved the way for Lassgard Bioteknik’s formal liquidation in the winter of 2039. All company assets were forfeited to pay out creditors and cover legal costs, though with the aquaculture industry as a whole facing widespread criticism and insolvency, most of Lassgard Bioteknik’s fish farming facilities were dismantled rather than sold off. Major litigation ended when the liquidation process was completed on February 4th 2040, but regular suits and legal actions related to the food poisoning scandal are still being brought.

See also


  1. Iverson, Q. (August 2024). “Lassgard Bioteknik reports successful spawning of Atlantic halibut.” Hatchery International
  2. United Nations. (July 2025). “The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2025.” Food and Agriculture Organisation
  3. St. Paul, D.C. (April 2025). “EU Commission lifts cap for tuna farming in Malta.” Undercurrent News
  4. World Health Organisation. (January 2039). “Increased cat mortality linked to tuna diets.” Bulletin of the World Health Organisation
  5. Daems, A. (October 2039). “Lassgard tuna linked to Cariappa-Muren disease in massive data leak.” World News Wire
  6. European Commission. (January 2013). “Regulation (EC) No 56/2013 amending Annexes I and IV to Regulation (EC) No 999/2001, deleting the prohibition to feed aquaculture animals with PAP.” EUR-Lex 
  7. Munday, B; O’Donoghue, P; Watts, M et al. (July 1997). “Fatal encephalitis due to the scuticociliate Uronema nigricans in sea-caged, southern bluefin tuna Thunnus maccoyii.” Diseases of Aquatic Organisms
  8. Daems, A. (October 2039). “Lassgard Bioteknik used AI-powered wildlife cameras to diagnose individual tuna.” World News Wire
  9. Törbacka, N. (October 2039). “A message from Lassgard Bioteknik’s interim CEO: We will right this ship.”