Category Archives: Animal Health and GMO

GM pigs shut down: major victory in the fight against GM animals

GM Pigs Shut Down in Canada: Major victory in the struggle against genetic engineering

April 2, 2012

Thanks to your support and actions we have stopped the GM Pig! Active research on the genetically modified (GM or genetically engineered) pig called “Enviropig” is being abandoned.

Read and circulate the press release at http://www.cban.ca/Press/Press-Releases/Genetically-Modified-Pig-Shelved

The hog industry group called Ontario Pork has stopped funding GM pig research at the University of Guelph. The university is now closing down its active research and ending its breeding program of the GM pig called “Enviropig.” The pig was engineered with genetic material from a mouse to reduce phosphorous in its feces and could have become the first GM food animal approved in the world. For background and more information about the Enviropig visit www.cban.ca/enviropig

CBAN (the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network) works hand in hand with farmer, environmental, community and social justice organizations and with the concerned public to research and monitor, educate and mobilize, and create strategic opportunities for your action.

We also work behind the scenes. CBAN’s direct interventions with decision-makers at the university and in the farming community supported your actions to lead to today’s shutdown of the GM pig. In the last few months a small amount of extra funding allowed us to hire additional part-time staff to help us focus on our recent actions. Our focus will now be to stop GM Atlantic salmon and GM alfalfa. We are working to stop the corporate control of our food and environment. Just a little extra funding helped to stop GM pigs – with more help, we can do so much more together. Donate today at www.cban.ca/donate

Please still send us your signed petitions to the University of Guelph. Find more action at www.cban.ca/Take-Action

US Dept of Agriculture provides .5million$ for GE fish

USDA provides half a million $ to support genetically modified fish

http://www.grist.org/food/2011-09-29-feds-help-gmo-salmon-swim-upstream

Horses and GE Alfalfa: A Bad Deal For Equines

April: There are lots of reasons why I’m against the planting of GE Alfalfa, but being a horse owner I’m especially against this crop. So I put together a brochure “Genetically Modified Alfalfa And Your Horse”: The hard facts behind why this is just a bad deal for equines.

Please download and distribute among feed dealers. Many of them are not aware of the issue. Please take this to them and educate them, but most of all, let them know you will not be buying it when it’s harvested this fall. At least don’t buy US alfalfa: we don’t have GE alfalfa in Canada, yet.

You can get the downloads here: PDF of Horse brochure

Thanks everyone, and keep printing and handing out ALL our brochures! Thank you for the support – spread it around! And as always, you can email me at: aprilreeves at shaw dot ca

Genetically Modified Salmon: Update

April: CBAN and many others have been working around the clock to compile a list of signatories that oppose GM Salmon. Below is the press release opposing the fish.

You can also take action right now – CBAN makes it easy for you on their website.

Thank you to everyone that is helping us to move forward and protect our wild salmon stocks and our health!

PRESS RELEASE
Groups Oppose Genetically Engineered Salmon: Demand Immediate Disclosure from Environment Canada

For Immediate Release

Ottawa, Monday, December 6, 2010 – Sixty fisheries and oceans
conservation, environmental and social justice groups revealed today
that Environment Canada refuses to confirm or deny if the department
has already started a secret 120-day risk assessment to approve
genetically engineered (GE) salmon egg production on Prince Edward
Island. The groups today also released a joint statement of
“categorical objection” to the raising of GE fish and fish eggs (1).

Documents released in September by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) revealed that the US company AquaBounty is seeking approval to sell its GE salmon into the US food market based on a plan to produce all its GE salmon eggs on Prince Edward Island (PEI) and then ship the eggs to Panama for grow out and processing. Following this revelation, groups made inquiries to Environment Canada but were told that any information about a possible risk assessment is confidential. The groups are calling for full disclosure and demanding that Environment Canada cease any approval process that may already be underway.

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GM Mosquito Wild Release Takes Campaigners by Surprise

Written by Katherine Nightingale
Thursday, 18 November 2010 21:2

Experts in the safety of genetically modified (GM) organisms have expressed concern over the release of GM mosquitoes into the wild on the Cayman Islands, which was publicized internationally only last month — a year after their initial release.

The trial of the OX513A strain of the dengue-carrying Aedes aegypti mosquito, developed by UK biotechnology company Oxitec, was carried out on Grand Cayman island by the Cayman Islands’ Mosquito Research and Control Unit (MRCU) in 2009, followed by a bigger release between May and October this year. Together they represent the first known release of GM mosquitoes anywhere in the world.

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GM Salmon: Chronological Order of Events

The following is a chronological order of events for those following the GM Salmon issue. This is a “hot” issue like Bill C-474. Your immediate action is called on to keep this fish out of the North American food chain, permanently.

Posted: October 4: Organic Consumer’s Association

The 10 Freakiest Things About Frankenfish

Here’s the Organic Consumers Association’s latest Huffington Post blog on GMO salmon:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ronnie-cummins/10-freakiest-things-about_b_737267.html

10. According to the FDA, Frankenfish Aren’t Animals, They’re “Animal Drugs”

Normally, a veterinary drug would be used for health purposes, but there’s no therapeutic benefit associated with jacking up an Atlantic salmon with the genes of a Chinook salmon and the eel-like ocean pout to make it grow twice as fast.

The biotech industry pushed FDA to treat genetically engineered animals like drugs because they knew the drug evaluation process would keep companies’ “proprietary” information secret, while limiting public participation and downplaying food safety concerns.

9. The GMO Part of the GMO Salmon Isn’t Being Safety Tested

Since 1992, the FDA has operated under the legal fiction created by the Bush-Quayle Administration that there is no risk associated with the human consumption of genetically engineered plants and animals. The FDA explains that DNA is Generally Recognized as Safe, so genetically engineered DNA is safe, too, and it doesn’t have to be safety tested.

8. Frankenfish DNA Could Change the Bacteria of Your Gut

A human study conducted by the UK’s Food Standards Agency found that consuming genetically engineered soy can result in “horizontal gene transfer,” where the bacteria of the gut takes up the soy’s modified DNA. With GMO salmon, the bacteria of our digestive tracks could take up the engineered salmon genes, but the FDA isn’t looking into whether this would happen or how it might effect our health, because…

7. If It Swims Like a Salmon, FDA Says It’s Safe to Eat

Instead of reviewing the safety of consuming genetically engineered salmon DNA, the FDA food safety review is a simple quacks-like-a-duck-style comparison of genetically engineered and normal salmon.

6. FDA Lets the Frankenfish Company Test Its Own Product’s Safety

The FDA’s food safety review of GMO salmon consists of collecting data produced by AquaBounty, the company that wants to sell it. Not surprisingly, that data is seriously flawed with bias and bad science.

5. Frankenfish Is More Carcinogenic

GMO salmon has 40% more IGF1, a hormone linked to prostate, breast and colon cancers in humans.

4. Frankenfish Is Less Nutritious

GMO salmon has the lowest omega-3 to omega-6 ratio of all the salmon in the studies FDA reviewed, greatly reducing the health benefits of associated with eating salmon.

3. Frankenfish Is More Allergenic

GE salmon have mean allergenic potencies that are 20% and 52% higher than normal salmon, increasing the risk of potentially deadly allergic reactions.

2. GMOs Can Mess a Fish Up!

The FDA notes evidence of “increased frequency of skeletal malformations, and increased prevalence of jaw erosions and multi-systemic, focal inflammation” in the tissues of GMO salmon, but dismisses these findings as “within the range observed in rapid growth phenotypes of non-genetically engineered Atlantic salmon.”

Turns out “normal” factory farmed salmon selected for rapid growth and subjected to the physiological stress of intensive production are already afflicted with “screamer disease,” which deforms 80% of Chilean salmon, and “humpback” spinal compression, found in 70% of Norwegian salmon operations.

Thanks, FDA, for letting us know that factory farmed salmon are so messed up! But, that’s no reason to turn them into Frankenfish!

But the freakiest thing about all of this is…

1. The Government Wants More Transgenic Fish and Less Wild Fish

The main justification for GMO salmon is that it could reduce the pressure on wild fish stocks, but consumption isn’t the primary pressure on wild salmon, destruction of their habitat is. The spawning grounds of wild salmon in Bristol Bay, Alaska, are threatened by plans for Pebble Mine, which would be the largest open-pit copper and gold mine in the US. A disaster at Pebble Mine could mean the destruction of a quarter of a billion pounds of salmon, about the same amount of GMO salmon AquaBounty hopes to produce. The EPA could stop Pebble Mine through the Clean Water Act but has failed to act.

October 1, 2010: Biotech Gets Fishy with GE Salmon
Some say genetic engineering was always fishy, but now the fish
themselves are engineered.

For 15 years genetically engineered (GE, also called genetically
modified or GM) canola, corn, and soy ingredients (and recently, some
GE sugar) proliferated in processed foods in North America. (www.cban.ca/gefoods) Now salmon is the next genetically engineered food that threatens to be introduced to market.

AquaBounty, a Massachusetts-based biotechnology company, is asking the
US to approve its genetically engineered Atlantic salmon for human
consumption, and says it will ask for approval soon in Canada as well.
The company claims its “AquAdvantage” salmon grow to market-size twice
as fast as other farmed salmon. That’s because the Atlantic salmon are
engineered with a growth hormone gene from Chinook salmon, and genetic
material from ocean pout (an eel-like creature). The fish produce
growth hormone throughout the year, rather than just for 3 months as
they would normally.

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Joel Salatin – Lunatic Farmer, is coming to Vancouver!

A Lecture with a Lunatic Farmer

Friday 09/10/2010 – 11:12 — Trevor Join us for a lecture with Joel Salatin, American farmer, author, and proponent of sustainable agriculture. Salatin will share stories and insights based on his upcoming book, The Sheer Ecstacy of Being a Lunatic Farmer.

Joel Salatin was profiled in Michael Pollan’s New York Times bestseller, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, and featured in the documentaries Food Inc and Fresh. Salatin and his family own and operate Polyface Farm in Virginia.

Public Event

Tickets are $45 and include a signed pre-release copy of The Sheer Ecstacy of Being a Lunatic Farmer. Please call 604-688-6755 for tickets.

Time: Monday, September 27 7:00 PM
Location: MacMillan Building – 2357 Main Mall Rm. 166

Seating is limited, call 604-688-6755 for tickets

UBC Student, Faculty & Staff Event

Admission is free with a UBC Student, Faculty or Staff ID card.
Signed copies of The Sheer Ecstacy of Being a Lunatic Farmer will be sold afterwards.

Time: Monday, September 27 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM
Location: MacMillan Building – 2357 Main Mall Rm. 166

Seating is limited; admission is first come,  first serve.

For more event details, contact:

Natalie Yuen

UBC Farm Administrative Coordinator
E-mail: ubcfarm.admin@gmail.com