A Very, Very Dangerous Precedent: FDA Approves Genetically-Engineered Salmon

A Very, Very Dangerous Precedent: FDA Approves Genetically-Engineered Salmon

Just a few hours ago, the FDA declared that GE-salmon is as safe to eat as non-GE salmon and has given its approval for it to be sold to consumers. Despite the fact that: – Over 400,000 comments were submitted demanding that genetically-engineered salmon be rejected. – More than 300 environmental, consumer, health and animal welfare organizations, […]

Fish Food GMOs Health
LivingMaxwell.com

Just a few hours ago, the FDA declared that GE-salmon is as safe to eat as non-GE salmon and has given its approval for it to be sold to consumers.

Despite the fact that:

– Over 400,000 comments were submitted demanding that genetically-engineered salmon be rejected.

– More than 300 environmental, consumer, health and animal welfare organizations, salmon and fishing groups and associations, food companies, chefs, and restaurants filed joint statements with the FDA opposing approval.

– More than 40 members of the U.S. Congress have repeatedly urged the FDA to conduct more rigorous reviews of environmental and health safety, and halt any approval process until concerns over risks, transparency and oversight have been fully satisfied.

……….the FDA refused to listen to consumer opinion and environmental concerns, and it completely placated the well-funded biotech industry.

Not only is this the first GE-fish approved, but it is the first GE-animal approved for human consumption. (This “FrankenFish” is injected with a gene from the Pacific Chinook salmon and can reach adult size in 16 to 18 months instead of 30 months for normal Atlantic salmon.)

HERE IS WHAT WE KNOW

There are huge risks that come with this approval, including:

1) It can and will ruin the ocean’s natural ecosystem forever.

Once a genetically-engineered salmon escapes into the ocean, which always happens with farmed fish, there will be absolutely no turning back. The ramifications for native salmon stock, already suffering from a serious decline, are dreadful.

Somehow the concerns regarding impacts to wild species and the environment, raised during a Senate hearing, remain unanswered in recent FDA review documents.

As part of the approval, this salmon can be raised only in land-based, contained hatchery tanks in two specific facilities in Canada and Panama — which is even greater cause for concern.

2) This GE-fish is sick.

AquaBounty, the owner of this genetically-engineered fish, claims that the company’s process for raising GE-fish is safer than traditional aquaculture.

Yet, documents released by the Canadian government show that a new strain of Infectious Salmon Anaemia, the deadly fish flu which has been devastating fish stocks around the world, contaminated the AquaBounty’s Canadian production site.

Not surprisingly, this information wasn’t included in the FDA’s review and was hidden from the public.

3) The health risks for human beings eating genetically-salmon remain unknown.

What we do know is that the risks for eating GM-plants are huge.

4) Approval of GE-salmon will make it that much easier for GE-steak, GE-lamb, GE-pork, and other genetically-engineered foods and cloned animals to make their way onto our dinner plates. This FDA decision has set a very, very dangerous precedent.

For consumers who would like to know if their salmon is genetically-modified or not, good luck.

This is because the U.S. does not require the labeling of genetically-engineered foods or genetically-engineered animals. Even worse is that the proposed DARK Act would make it illegal for states, such as Vermont, to impose a labeling law.

WHAT THEY’RE NOT TELLING YOU

One thing you will not read in the mainstream press today is anything about the billionaire Randal Kirk, who recently acquired AquaBounty. Not only does he own this GE-salmon, but he also owns:

  • Oxitec, the controversial company which wants to release genetically-modified mosquitoes to fight dengue fever.
  • Okanagan Specialty Fruits, which grows genetically-modified apples that don’t turn brown.
  • Intrexon, a synthetic biology company that employs more than 700 people. Synthetic biology is an extreme form of genetic engineering. Products of synthetic biology are virtually unregulated, have not been assessed adequately for impacts on our health or environment, and are not required to be labeled.

Randal Kirk could very well be creating the next Monsanto.

While this is a very grim day for those of us who care about health and the environment, in no uncertain terms can we give up the fight to take back our food system.

(If you’re unfamiliar with genetically-engineered salmon, please see this video below.)

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35 Comments

  • This is a strange trend. Almost seems like for every food item which is made organic, non-gmo, there are several that follow the opposite route, i.e., genetically engineered or modified.

  • DEE says:

    YES IT IS A TERRIBLE THING MAN IS DOING TO OUR ANIMALS, FOWL, NOW THE HEALTHY FISH.
    WALK INTO A RESTAURANT AND ORDER A LOVELY FISH SALAD. WHAT??? ALL PLACES TO EAT, MUST BE MADE TO TELL
    WE SERVEGMO PRODUCTS.BE DVISED.? NO WONDER A PERSON HAS TO TAKE MORE DOSAGE OF ANTIBIOTICS WHEN ILL. THE BODY HAS GROWN USED TO HAVING A BUIOLD UP FROM FOOD STUFFSS. ORGANIC IS THE ONLY WAY TO GO. BUT THANKFULLY MORE SMART PEOPLE ARE INSISTING ON THIS. AND WHAT ABOUT YOUR CHILDREN, OR THE UN BORN, IF THE MOTHER IS EATING ALL THE BAD FOODS.? IT HAS BECOME A BATTLE OF GOOD AND BAD. HELP THE GOOD TO WIN OUT. BLESSINGS. DEE

  • tom says:

    Why do people scare so easily?

    Why do some people simply assume this is bad? If you fear it, don’t eat salmon. Geeze. I don’t like scorpion. So I don’t eat it.

    Why aren’t people asking ‘how does it work?

    Why don’t people ask ‘how does this differ from wild salmon? How does it differ from farmed salmon?

    Why does the photo have a salmon lying next to a brown trout? Maybe to misdirect?

    • Max Goldberg says:

      People are scared of GMOs because of the horrifying data that shows what GMOs to do animals and the fact that no long-term safety study has ever been done on humans.

      The photo: It is meant for comparison purposes only.

  • V says:

    at each advancement of the human race, there is fear of the unknown. GE-anything just as new cancer treatments are all moving the Human Race to the next level and articles like this will be looked at one day like the guy who reported back in the 1920’s that “everything that can be invented has been invented”. Or when trains begin to move people at a whopping 20 miles per hour, there were fears that the human bodies were not designed to move at that speed….or when bacteria was used to develop penicillin….when electricity was deemed dangerous and ineffective, etc…..there are always groups of people afraid of new technological advancements and attempt to spread fear and doubt as their defense.

    • Max Goldberg says:

      We are scared of GMOs exactly in the same way we were scared of tobacco or asbestos. We are being “sold” something that is supposedly completely safe but isn’t.

      • Connie Seymour says:

        One company should not be allowed to adulterate the food chain/supply like this. How is it that we cannot stop this? Koch brother salmon will always be of the highest quality. They hope??

  • karen betz says:

    Unfortunately, the FDA is acting like our entire government nowadays, doing what is best for them, not what is best for we the people.

  • Ahhleeyah Grace says:

    It is time for everyone to find their voice and also pray for healing of our glorious oceans. If we allow this to go on we as a planet won’t be here. It is our home and if we don’t nurture it and look after it we will loose it. Time to stand together and show we are united and honour our home in health, happiness and harmony.

  • Alex says:

    If they’re talking about salmon, as the title would indicate, why are they showing a photo of a Brown Trout and a Rainbow Trout? Is it due to laziness, lack of accurate photos, or just shoddy journalism in general? You tell me.

  • Billy Johnson says:

    I find fault with nearly every point made in this essay.

    GM foods have brought many benefits to agriculture and the environment as a whole. Search for peer reviewed articles in any reputable journal on the topic and you will find many studies that prove GM crops reduce pesticide and fertilizer use, feed growing populations around the world, and can be made resistant to numerous diseases and harsh conditions.

    As for the environmental concern of releasing GM animals into the natural environment, I agree that there should be strict guidelines on fish handling, including a regulation that no live fish be removed from the breeding facilities. It is obvious that, if these guidelines are enforced and followed, no GM animals will feasibly reach the wild. It is already done around the world in biological research laboratories. Environmental agencies ensure that no [live] genetically-modified model organisms leave the laboratory. This rule can easily transfer to the nascent GM food industry.

  • Heather says:

    This is infuriating. Thanks for the great information.

  • Michele says:

    What else can we do? I’m leaning toward going vegan.

  • While it’s still a worthy fight, we’re going to loose more battles on the policy side. The FDA has abdicated and are simply working for the same corporations that fund the campaigns of so many of our elected officials. Citizen action is essential and what you, OCA and others are doing is critical work. Continuing to educate consumers is likely our best field of battle. If people refuse to eat it, the market will shrink or die.
    There are more an more positive signs that the average consumer is looking at genetic modification with greater and greater skepticism so there remains some hope that the FDA’s decision today, while tragic in this moment, will in the future be yet another self-inflicted wound.
    Great work, Max.
    Timothy Fitzgerald Young
    President/Founder
    Food For Thought

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