Here Come the FrankenSalmon

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may soon approve the sale of genetically engineered (GE) salmon to American consumers. Incredibly, the FDA may do so without requiring that the fish be labeled as genetically engineered.

Marion Nestle, a professor in the Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health Department at New York University has said, “The public wants to know and the public has a right to know. I think the agency has discretion, but it’s under enormous political pressure to approve [the salmon] without labeling.”

Misleading Shoppers as a Sales Strategy?

Wild salmon delivers tremendous nutritional benefits, but the possible action by the FDA could lead shoppers seeking healthy food for their families to unknowingly buy a GE substitute. Scientists have cautioned that there has been insufficient study of its impact on human health and the environment.

The nonprofit Union of Concerned Scientists states on its web site:

“So far, scientists have identified a number of ways in which genetically engineered organisms could potentially adversely impact both human health and the environment…In addition to posing risks of harm that we can envision and attempt to assess, genetic engineering may also pose risks that we simply do not know enough to identify.”

After submitting a Freedom of Information Act request, the consumer advocacy group Food & Water Watch received numerous recent internal documents and emails from the U.S. Department of Interior’s Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) exposing startling concerns about the GE salmon for which the company AquaBounty is seeking approval.

“Nice work Greg,” Denise Hawkins, PhD, FWS Regional Geneticist wrote to a coworker in September. “Especially pointing out that there is no data to support the claims of low survival in the event of escape, which I agree with you all is a big concern. I also agree…that using triploid fish [which AquaBounty claim have undergone a sterilization process] is not foolproof. Maybe they [the FDA] should watch Jurassic Park.”

A Very Real Threat to Wild Salmon

The FDA is required by law to conduct an environmental impact statement for any regulatory action that could negatively affect the human environment. The agency has not done so yet. Despite AquaBounty’s claim to produce only sterile salmon, the company admitted that up to 5% of their GE salmon eggs could be fertile, prompting the FDA to label the company’s claims “potentially misleading”.

According to FWS internal emails, contrary to AquaBounty’s claims that GE salmon would be grown in closed systems (and therefore unable to escape), FWS employees received news of a proposal to grow the fish in a facility that would discharge into the ocean off the coast of Maine.

“No matter what precautions you take, fish escape and once they do, there is no closing that door. So, that being said, I think it is very bad precedent to set,” said one FWS program supervisor.

The FDA is closing a public comment period on November 22nd and could approve the product as soon as November 23rd.

JEFF DEASY is the founder of American Feast. He can be reached at: jdeasy@americanfeast.com


More articles by:
March 19, 2018
Henry Heller
The Moment of Trump
John Davis
Pristine Buildings, Tarnished Architect
Uri Avnery
The Fake Enemy
Patrick Cockburn
The Fall of Afrin and the Next Phase of the Syrian War
Nick Pemberton
The Democrats Can’t Save Us
Nomi Prins 
Jared Kushner, RIP: a Political Obituary for the President’s Son-in-Law
Georgina Downs
The Double Standards and Hypocrisy of the UK Government Over the ‘Nerve Agent’ Spy Poisoning
Dean Baker
Trump and the Federal Reserve
Colin Todhunter
The Strategy of Tension Towards Russia and the Push to Nuclear War
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
US Empire on Decline
Ralph Nader
Ahoy America, Give Trump a Taste of His Own Medicine Starting on Trump Imitation Day
Robert Dodge
Eliminate Nuclear Weapons by Divesting from Them
Laura Finley
Shame on You, Katy Perry
Weekend Edition
March 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Michael Uhl
The Tip of the Iceberg: My Lai Fifty Years On
Bruce E. Levine
School Shootings: Who to Listen to Instead of Mainstream Shrinks
Mel Goodman
Caveat Emptor: MSNBC and CNN Use CIA Apologists for False Commentary
Paul Street
The Obama Presidency Gets Some Early High Historiography
Kathy Deacon
Me, My Parents and Red Scares Long Gone
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Rexless Abandon
Andrew Levine
Good Enemies Are Hard To Find: Therefore Worry
Jim Kavanagh
What to Expect From a Trump / Kim Summit
Ron Jacobs
Trump and His Tariffs
Joshua Frank
Drenched in Crude: It’s an Oil Free For All, But That’s Not a New Thing
Gary Leupp
What If There Was No Collusion?
Matthew Stevenson
Why Vietnam Still Matters: Bernard Fall Dies on the Street Without Joy
Robert Fantina
Bad to Worse: Tillerson, Pompeo and Haspel
Brian Cloughley
Be Prepared, Iran, Because They Want to Destroy You
Richard Moser
What is Organizing?
Scott McLarty
Working Americans Need Independent Politics
Rohullah Naderi
American Gun Violence From an Afghan Perspective
Sharmini Peries - Michael Hudson
Why Trump’s Tariff Travesty Will Not Re-Industrialize the US
Ted Rall
Democrats Should Run on Impeachment
Robert Fisk
Will We Ever See Al Jazeera’s Investigation Into the Israel Lobby?
Kristine Mattis
Superunknown: Scientific Integrity Within the Academic and Media Industrial Complexes
John W. Whitehead
Say No to “Hardening” the Schools with Zero Tolerance Policies and Gun-Toting Cops
Edward Hunt
UN: US Attack On Syrian Civilians Violated International Law
Barbara Nimri Aziz
Iraq Outside History
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: The Long Hard Road
Victor Grossman
Germany: New Faces, Old Policies
Medea Benjamin - Nicolas J. S. Davies
The Iraq Death Toll 15 Years After the US Invasion
Binoy Kampmark
Amazon’s Initiative: Digital Assistants, Home Surveillance and Data
Chuck Collins
Business Leaders Agree: Inequality Hurts The Bottom Line
Jill Richardson
What We Talk About When We Talk About “Free Trade”
Eric Lerner – Jay Arena
A Spark to a Wider Fire: Movement Against Immigrant Detention in New Jersey
Negin Owliaei
Teachers Deserve a Raise: Here’s How to Fund It