By Susan Patterson | The Alternative Daily
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), you know that group of good guys that are charged with protecting the health and welfare of Americans, has just approved the first ever genetically modified animal to be sold in American supermarkets. And that is not the worst of it… this Franken-salmon won’t even be labeled. WHAT????
I am so sick and tired of these regulating agencies speaking out of both sides of their mouth. How can they sleep at night making such a decision? How can they be for us when their actions clearly indicate they are for something, anything, other than us?
Related Article: 44 Reasons To Ban Or Label GMO’s
Here is the mission of this regulating agency, in case you are not familiar with it:
“FDA is responsible for protecting the public health by assuring the safety, efficacy and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, medical devices, our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, and products that emit radiation.”
We reported in 2013 about AquaBounty Technologies that claims its monster fish are safe to eat. Of course, we were all hoping it would never come to be.
If approved, AquaBounty’s GMO salmon would be the first genetically engineered animal to be sold for human consumption and could appear in restaurants and supermarkets as early 2015.
Farmed salmon are raised in pens in coastal waters along Washington, Maine and British Columbia. The fish being raised are Atlantic salmon and when they escape they will compete with already endangered native stocks. Between 400,000 and 1 million Atlantic salmon have already escaped into the wild from the 75 operations in British Columbia.
A Purdue University study showed that if 60 transgenic fish bred in a population of 60,000 wild fish, the wild fish would be extinct in 40 generations.
“We’ve seen assurances in the past from industry and regulators that there won’t be catastrophic consequences like the Gulf oil spill,” said George Kimbrell, a senior staff attorney for the Center for Food Safety. “We have a cultural amnesia about these things.”
No one gets excited at a genetically raised fish. Why put a different genetic makeup into your body? Some scientists don’t see it this way.
AquaBounty, which calls its super salmon an “advanced hybrid” rather than a transgenic fish, said the fish are safe to eat and would be raised in contained farming operations that could be based inland rather than along coastal waters. And the modified fish, all females, would be sterile so that they couldn’t breed with wild fish if any escaped, the company said.
Very comforting, sterility.
AquaBounty’s fish grow faster but not bigger than normal Atlantic salmon. The company says that genetically modified salmon are identical to regular salmon in every way except for the genes that have been added.
That’s not identical!
The difference between males and females is the Y chromosome. The company has added a growth hormone gene from the Chinook salmon as well as a gene from the ocean pout, a distant relative of the salmon, to a normal Atlantic salmon’s roughly 40,000 genes. Salmon normally feed only during the spring and summer, but when the on-switch from the pout’s gene is triggered, they eat year round.
We have another oil-rig-like catastrophe waiting to happen in our oceans.
The result is a transgenic salmon that grows to market size in about half the time as a normal salmon – 16 to 18 months, rather than three years.
The FDA doesn’t comment on pending applications, though a public hearing on the AquaBounty application could come as early as this fall. Such public hearings can signal the FDA is close to a decision.
How many times has the FDA’s decisions affected the lives of millions of people?
In 2014, we reported that the two largest national grocery stores, Kroger and Safeway, had announced that they would not sell the salmon should it receive FDA approval. I sure hope that they hold fast to this.
Related Article: USDA Approves ‘Untested Inherently Risky’ GMO Apple
Kroger is the largest grocery chain in the United states, with 2,424 stores nationwide. Safeway follows in second place with 1,406 stores. Many other grocers have publicly stated that they will not sell Frankensalmon, including Target, Meijer, Giant Eagle, Marsh and H-E-B. Three of the first retailers to refuse the salmon were Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and Aldi, who announced their decisions in July 2013.
To date, over 60 different food retailers have taken a stand against selling GM salmon, totaling over 9,000 stores across the U.S. Additionally, millions of people have protested the FDA’s consideration of the salmon in writing.