Late last year the FDA quietly took a major step toward approving the “frankenfish,” AquaBounty’s genetically modified salmon.
Its approval would be a radical move by the FDA – the first genetically modified animal ever to enter our food supply. It’s no wonder the FDA posted its final review, clearing the way for approval, on the Friday before the Christmas holiday, when few people would notice.
The FDA is now taking public comments on its study, which is expected to lead to approval of the frankenfish. This is our last chance to keep GMO salmon off our grocery store shelves, and stop the dangerous trend of introducing GM animals into our food supply.
AquaBounty’s frankenfish is an Atlantic salmon, spliced with genes from an eel pout and growth hormone from a Chinook salmon. The result is a salmon that produces growth hormone year-round and grows twice as fast. The risks are myriad.
The fish hasn’t been proven safe for humans. But the FDA is preparing to approve it based on a limited, flawed and inadequate study – even thought the same study identified elevated allergy-causing potential,1 and elevated levels of the IGF-1 growth hormone, which is linked to colon, prostate and breast cancers. Clearly more study is needed to determine the safety or danger of GMO salmon.2
Were GMO salmon to escape its farms into the wild, the fish would pose a serious risk to wild salmon populations. The GMO salmon consume five times more food than wild salmon, and are more aggressive. Introducing these traits into the wild population would be serious — and irreversible.3
Separate from any risks, the GMO salmon are less healthy to eat — producing less of the beneficial omega-3 fatty acids than conventional salmon — and a less efficient food source — requiring 1.5 to 8 kilograms of wild fish to produce one kilogram of conventional farmed salmon.
Worse still, without GMO labeling, these frankenfish would be totally unlabeled on store shelves, and indistinguishable from other farmed salmon, so consumers will have no way of making an informed choice.
The White House knows that the public is opposed to GMO salmon and is feeling our pressure.
A recent report even documents that the White House may have delayed the release of the FDA assessment, which was completed in May, until after the election, to avoid upsetting the president’s political base.4
Significant public opposition in this comment period is our best shot at preventing approval of GMO salmon. But this is our last chance. So now is the time to make your voice heard. Submit a comment now: https://act.credoaction.com/campaign/gmo_salmon/
1. “Consumers Union Says FDA Assessment of GE Salmon Is Flawed and Inadequate,” Consumers Union, 12/21/12
2. “AquAdvantage Salmon Ready for Commerce?,” Permaculture News, 9/23/10
3. “Tell the FDA: No Frankenfish,” Organic Consumers Union
4. “White House Ends Its Interference in a Scientific Review,” Slate, 12/21/12