The FDA is ready to approve genetically engineered salmon but is ostensibly seeking public comment before giving it the green light.
In order to create the transgenic fish, Aquabounty genetically engineered an Atlantic salmon by inserting a Chinook salmon growth-hormone gene, as well as a gene sequence from an ocean pout. The company claims this engineering causes the GE salmon to undergo an increase in growth rate that allows the fish to reach market size in half the normal time.
Despite overwhelming opposition from citizens and public interest groups to genetically engineered (GE) food, including 400,000 public comments opposing GE salmon, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced December 26, 2012 that it is prepared to give transgenic salmon its final stamp of approval.
The FDA failed to address serious concerns about the safety of consuming salmon that has been genetically engineered to produce growth hormones at all times, allowing it to grow faster and bigger than natural salmon. The FDA has not conducted any safety testing, and merely assumes that the genetically engineered salmon is safe to eat.
The FDA has also not considered the potential ecological and economic impacts of approving genetically engineered salmon. The accidental escape of genetically engineered salmon could devastate populations of native salmon, as well as the fish and marine mammals that depend on salmon for their food. Purdue University researchers have found that releasing a transgenic fish to the wild could damage native populations even to the point of extinction.
Like all other GMO foods, this salmon will not be labeled as such. Yet the Obama administration is willing to gamble with our health and the environment for the financial benefit of one biotechnology company. US citizens have the opportunity to comment to the FDA, expressing support or opposition to genetically engineered salmon.
To submit a comment electronically go to Submit Comment
Comments must be received by the FDA no later than February 25, 2013.