I have been writing about the genetically-engineered salmon issue for quite a while now, and last week I put up a story about how Congress held hearings for the first-time ever about this FrankenFish.
As I mentioned in the post, it was a great step in raising awareness of this abhorrent technology and hopefully it will never get approved.
AquaBounty, the company that is trying to receive FDA approval for genetically-engineered salmon, has been telling the public that this “fish” is safe – safe for humans and safe for the environment, both of which is completely absurd in my opinion.
Now we have documentation that calls into serious question the credibility of AquaBounty and its willingness to tell the truth.
According to recently released documents (PDF file), AquaBounty’s research site in Canada was contaminated with a new strain of Infectious Salmon Anaemia (ISA), the deadly fish flu that is devastating fish stocks around the globe.
Did AquaBounty ever disclose this minor detail to the public or potentially the FDA and other governmental agencies consulting on this new technology?
Of course not.
Additionally, AquaBounty had the nerve to tell us that its harvesting process was “safer than traditional aquaculture”.
How serious is this ISA strain?
It is a deadly disease and is classified as a ‘Listed’ disease by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) – alongside diseases such as Anthrax, Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), Foot and mouth disease, rabies, sheep pox, swine fever, avian influenza, West Nile fever, scrapie, fowl cholera, bovine tuberculosis and myxomatosis.
“Infectious Salmon Anaemia threatens wild fisheries around the world and the communities whose livelihood depend on those fish” said Erich Pica, President of Friends of the Earth US. “ISA infections in Chile cost the industry around $2 billion dollars. A similar infection in Canada and the U.S. could be the last blow to wild Atlantic salmon populations and bring a collapse in wild salmon fisheries.”
Andrew Kimbrell, Executive Director of The Center for Food Safety, said that “this new information calls into question the reliability of AquaBounty’s data and the validity of its claims that their fish are safe for the environment.”
Yesterday, a coalition of 11 food safety, environmental, consumer and fishery organizations sent a letter to the FDA calling for a halt to its approval of GE-salmon.
For opponents of AquaBounty’s FrankenFish, this discovery is a great find because the company will have a much, much weaker leg to stand on when it asks for approval for its GE-salmon and claims that it is safe.
Now it’s waiting game – to see how both the FDA and members of Congress respond.
Hopefully, our government will make the assessment that AquaBounty is a company that cannot be trusted and should not be granted the right to commercialize a very risky and completely unnecessary technology.
To learn more about genetically-engineered salmon, watch this very informative video below.
I’ll keep you posted as I hear more about this extremely important matter.