SMOKINCHOICES (and other musings)

December 24, 2012

FDA says Frankenfish safe

(Jan’s comment to follow)

Genetically altered salmon safe to consume, FDA says


WASHINGTON — Salmon that have been genetically engineered to grow twice as fast as their natural counterparts are inching closer to the nation’s dinner tables.

The Food and Drug Administration released its findings that the fish do not pose a threat to the environment and are “as safe as food from conventional Atlantic salmon.”

That removed a key hurdle for a Massachusetts-based company seeking to market the modified salmon, which critics have dubbed “Frankenfish.”

  • But the move also reignited a long-running debate over whether a nation that already grows and consumes genetically modified plants such as corn and soybeans is prepared to make a similar leap regarding animals.

Food-safety activists, environmental groups and traditional salmon-fishing industries staunchly oppose such a step and are part of a broader global struggle over genetically modified foods.

  • Countries in the European Union have banned some genetically modified foods outright and instituted tight labeling requirements on foods that contain modified ingredients.

AquAdvantage, the fast-growing fish at the center of the controversy in the United States, is an Atlantic salmon that contains a growth hormone from a Chinook salmon and has been given a gene from the ocean pout, an eel-like fish. The result is a fish that grows larger and faster than traditional salmon.

Under the company’s proposal, no modified salmon would be produced in America. The eggs would be produced on Prince Edward Island in Canada and shipped to Panama, where they would be harvested and processed.   In its assessment, the FDA said the likelihood that the altered fish could escape containment and reproduce in the wild is “extremely remote.”

  • The assessment could pave the way for ultimate approval of the engineered fish. The FDA must take comments from the public for 60 days before finalizing its report.

(My comment:   

It is my hope that multitudes of us will let the FDA know in clear terms that we are not in favor of this.  To open the door to Genetically Modified Fish would just be disastrous as we loose one more vital piece of our natural environment to the GMO machinery which has already taken such an enormous chunk away from us.  The FDA assures us it would be safe per their findings?  What is that pray tell?  FDA does no testing at all.  They accept corporate word that their product is safe –   – that is not assurance.   And we have learned otherwise.  

Seems that an American Company in Massachusettes wants the right to market Frankenfish to our country, yet these same products are not welcome or even legal in other sophisticated parts of the enlightened world. Nor are genetically modified plant foods without clear labels to inform people (labeling – another privilege to which we are entitled, but denied).   As described above, the potential for contamination would be profound, not remote as claimed.  There could be no regulations which we could rely on for several countries are doing different parts of the whole with movement from one country to the next for each stage.  There is no way this could be contained and assured against contamination for one of the finest food fishes we have ever known. 

Eggs produced in Canada;  harvested in Panama and marketed to U.S.   I’m sure they are in Canada because no one wanted this in our American back yard. How would anyone control such a complex scheme?  Safety is not even in the equation.  The people have spoken out on this before.  We don’t want Frankenfish, or cows or pigs or fowl.  They are all bastardized enough by the way they are being factory-farmed these days.  Since we would have no “control” over any part of this –  most surely  “We” can offer no assurances on Frankenfish. Just look how well all this has protected the U.S. population thus far. We are sicker, fatter and shorter-lived and going on a  downward spiral..  .   .  we need to reverse all this, not make it worse.

Genetically modifying  carries genetic burdens which do pass along to end users –  -us!  Once it is in the system,  it stays and continues to erode and distort the destinies of all involved.  If this is allowed, it is only a question of time til the worst happens and another part of our known world is irrevocably damaged or destroyed.   The FDA is allowing 60 days for comments from the public on this.  All should speak up.  Jan)


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