photo: Wild caught salmon. Courtesy Marinkovich family
Keep the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) from ruling to approve engineered (GMO) salmon as the first animal manufactured for human consumption. Click here to sign the petition demanding the FDA halt approval for GMO salmon.
AquaBounty Technologies created the salmon by artificially combining growth hormone genes from a Pacific salmon with DNA from an eelpout. This keeps the fish growing year round, in crowded inland tanks.
The FDA doesn't do its own testing of genetically engineered animals. It relies on information provided by the company that wants approval — just like they did in their oversight of the egg industry which produced the largest salmonella outbreak in U.S. history last month. Unlike traditional methods breeding, in lab-created GMO “transgenic” animal breeding, genes are from different species, or can be from plants.
The mechanics of gene addition is imprecise. Scientists cannot predict or control where lab-added genes mechanically 'fired' into cells will attach along DNA strands, so genes added in this way often interfere with the normal functions of DNA, creating unwanted mutation. Release of virtually all research information is controlled by GMO patent holders; researchers must sign a release before beginning any research; resulting information on GMO risks has been heavily suppressed. Risks that are known include damage to organs, including stomach, liver and kidneys, severe allergies, adverse hormonal changes and antibiotic resistance.
Because genetically engineered salmon can be classified as a "drug" by the FDA, due to their laboratory origins, instead of food, there's little focus on the potential dangers of people consuming modified salmon. It's not enough that raising salmon in crowded factory fish farms contaminates our food with antibiotics and other chemicals. Now the FDA would be adding additional unknown risks of GMO salmon to the mix.
Aside from the health risks, the risks posed by release of these salmon into waterways, even contained (which has never been proved secure), to wild salmon stocks and biodiversity in general, are staggering, not to mention the danger posed to tribal peoples with salmon traditions, and commercial fishing families and the economies they are a part of.
Read more about GMO's here.
Thank you to Food Democracy Now, Food and Water Watch, and CREDO for portions of this post.