FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

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:
August 21, 2018
Anthony DiMaggio
Fascist Nation: The “Alt-Right” Menace Persists, Despite Setbacks
Chris Floyd
Dial “N” for Mayhem: Wording Our Way to a New Level of Hell
Creston Davis
The Education Impasse in the USA
Jonathan Cook
In Detaining Peter Beinart, Israel Has Declared it No Longer Represents Millions of Jews Overseas
Kshama Sawant
UPS Teamsters, We Have Your Back in this Fight
Kenneth Culton
Trump Supporters: the Joyous Cult Bound by Shared Story and Ritual
Andy Thayer
Why the Chicago ‘68 Convention Matters Today
Simone Chun
Sea of Tears: The Tragedy of Families Split by the Korean War
William Blum
The Russians Did It (cont.)
Manuel E. Yepe
How Capitalism Erodes Mental Health
Doug Noble
Thomas Mountain
Djibouti Faces Dark Days to Come; Eritrean Ports, Pipeline Threaten Ethiopian Trade Lifeline
Binoy Kampmark
Finding Fault and Faulty Infrastructure: Genoa’s Morandi Bridge Disaster
Kary Love
“Suffer Not the Little Children….”
Thomas Knapp
Omarosa Manigault Newman, Public Servant
August 20, 2018
Carl Boggs
The Road to Disaster?
James Munson
“Not With a Bomb, But a Whimper” … Then More Bombs.
Jonathan Cook
Corbyn’s Labour Party is Being Made to Fail –By Design
Robert Fisk
A US Trade War With Turkey Over a Pastor? Don’t Believe It
Howard Lisnoff
The Mass Media’s Outrage at Trump: Why the Surprise?
Faisal Khan
A British Muslim’s Perspective on the Burkha Debate
Andrew Kahn
Inhumanity Above the Clouds
Dan Glazebrook
Trump’s New Financial War on the Global South
George Wuerthner
Why the Gallatin Range Deserves Protection
Ted Rall
Is Trump a Brand-New Weird Existential Threat? No.
Sheldon Richman
For the Love of Reason
Susie Day
Why Pundits Scare Me
Dean Baker
Does France’s Economy Need to Be Renewed?
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Mighty Voice for Peace Has Gone Silent: Uri Avnery, 1923-2018
Weekend Edition
August 17, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Daniel Wolff
The Aretha Dialogue
Nick Pemberton
Donald Trump and the Rise of Patriotism 
Joseph Natoli
First Amendment Rights and the Court of Popular Opinion
Andrew Levine
Midterms 2018: What’s There to Hope For?
Robert Hunziker
Hothouse Earth
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Running Out of Fools
Ajamu Baraka
Opposing Bipartisan Warmongering is Defending Human Rights of the Poor and Working Class
Paul Street
Corporate Media: the Enemy of the People
David Macaray
Trump and the Sex Tape
CJ Hopkins
Where Have All the Nazis Gone?
Daniel Falcone
The Future of NATO: an Interview With Richard Falk
Cesar Chelala
The Historic Responsibility of the Catholic Church
Ron Jacobs
The Barbarism of US Immigration Policy
Kenneth Surin
In Shanghai
William Camacaro - Frederick B. Mills
The Military Option Against Venezuela in the “Year of the Americas”
Nancy Kurshan
The Whole World Was Watching: Chicago ’68, Revisited
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail