Our Tax Dollars are Now Being Used for Genetically-Engineered Salmon

Written by Max Goldberg on October 21, 2011. Follow Max on Twitter: @livingmaxwell.

If you’ve been reading the news lately, you know that the Obama administration lost $535 million dollars on a loan to a failed solar panel company, Solyndra.

While it is totally inexcusable that we can be wasting money like this, at least the cause – solar energy – was noble. The same cannot be said for what the USDA just spent its money on.

The USDA recently announced a $500,000 grant to fund research for the development of genetically-engineered, sterile salmon.

Yes, you read that correctly. Our tax dollars are going to fund the development of sterile FrankenFish (genetically-engineered salmon), and it is for a privately-held company in Massachusetts called AquaBounty.

CONCERNS ARE IGNORED

I have written about this egregious issue over the past year or so, and the Obama administration just continues to promote all forms of genetically-engineered food, despite widespread opposition.

In July 2011, 23 members of Congress, led by by Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) and Rep. Don Young (R-AK), sent bi-partisan letters to the FDA calling on the agency to halt approval of GE-salmon, saying that it “would not be in the public interest”.

This was on top of the letters sent to the FDA from more than 40 members of Congress in September 2010 requesting the FDA not to approve GE-salmon.

The concerns are not only just health-related but environmental as well.

“As far as we and the public can tell, FDA has not comprehensively assessed the full range of environmental risks inherent in the production and distribution of genetically engineered fish,” explained George Leonard, Ocean Conservancy’s aquaculture program director. “Instead, FDA is relying on the company’s own scientific analysis that no fish will escape, survive, or reproduce in the wild—even though that type of security cannot be guaranteed.”

What makes people even more nervous is that much of the harvesting of GE-salmon will be completed outside of the U.S., where our government has little to no jurisdiction.

Once GE-salmon escapes into the wild and reproduces, the salmon stock will be contaminated forever and could wreak absolute havoc on the ocean’s ecosystem. And there is no going back. Ever.

POLITICAL MANEUVERING

As a result of the FDA not giving approval to this FrankenFish up until this point, the company’s financial situation appears to be tenuous.

Not wanting AquaBounty to potentially file for bankruptcy and as a way to ease many of the concerns that environmentalists had about GE-salmon mating with non-GE-salmon, the USDA gave a $500,000 grant to the company so it could research a way to manufacture sterile FrankenFish.

Assuming the company is able to do this, we are then going to be told that this sterile, hormone-manipulated, genetically-engineered FrankenFish is perfectly safe to eat, even though no long-term human studies will ever have been completed.

Can you imagine being told that this fish will be safe to eat and there aren’t any health risks to eating salmon that has been altered in such a freakish way????

Don’t hold your breath. It may very well happen.

It is just business as usual with Obama, allowing Big Ag and biotech lobbyists to completely influence his food policy.

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If this GE-fish eventually receives approval from the FDA, it will not be labeled as genetically-engineered when you buy it at the supermarket. Why?

Well, our government does not believe that consumers have a right to know whether food has been genetically-engineered or not.

This must change.

A petition was just filed with the FDA telling them that they MUST label all genetically-engineered foods.

Please sign this petition and help support our case.

The health of the organic industry, our environment and our fellow citizens is too important to ignore.

Thank you for supporting organic.

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