Tell the FDA: No Frankenfish
Genetically engineered salmon may soon be for sale at your local grocery store, if the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves the first-ever "GE" animal intended for human consumption. Many people are concerned about the health risks of eating genetically engineered foods. But genetic engineering of farm fish is also likely to be a disaster for wild salmon, which are already at grave risk from a host of threats such as dams, pollution, aquaculture operations and climate change.
The FDA is considering approval of "AquAdvantage" salmon, genetically engineered Atlantic salmon that grow at twice the rate of normal salmon. Farmed salmon regularly escape into the wild, and research has shown that the release of only a few dozen genetically engineered fish could lead to the extinction of an entire wild salmon population. However, the FDA has given virtually no consideration to the impacts of these "Frankenfish" on wild salmon stocks, nor does it seem likely the FDA will require consumer labeling for the fish.
The potential consequences for aquatic ecosystems, as well as human health, are far too serious to allow the FDA to get away with rubberstamping this biotechnology boondoggle. Please tell the FDA: No Frankenfish!
It is vitally important that concerned citizens demand a fair and open public review process. The American public has had virtually no time to review data the FDA has been sitting on for the last ten years, and the agency has made participation in the public process extremely difficult for ordinary citizens. Scientific findings on the AquAdvantage fish were just posted to the FDA's website the Friday before the Labor Day weekend and the only hearing on approval of the AquAdvantage salmon will be held on Sunday, September 19. Written comments are due September 16.