Tag Archives: AquaBounty

Group says FDA deliberately withheld info on GM salmon

April: A lot of GM issues are heating up. The GE Salmon issue is taking on the same “face” as the Canadian Bill C-474, where we are getting these foods rammed down our throats at all costs. We’ll keep you updated here:

Adding a new twist to the controversy over genetically engineered (GE)
salmon, the Center for Food Safety (CFS) revealed in recent hearings on
transgenic fish, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) knowingly
withheld a federal biological opinion by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service (FWS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
prohibiting the use of transgenic salmon in open-water net pens pursuant
to the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA).

“This adds further evidence that in fact GE salmon pose a serious threat
to marine environments and is another compelling reason for the FDA not to
approve the fish for commercial use,” said Andrew Kimbrell, executive
director of the Center for Food Safety. “While the FDA applauded the
company’s choice of land-based containment as responsible, it never
revealed that it is illegal in the U.S. to grow genetically engineered
salmon in open-water net pens.”

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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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AquaBounty GMO Salmon paid for by Canadian Taxpayers

April: it seems our Canadian government gave AquaBounty a decent chunk of cash to keep it’s GMO salmon project afloat – and AquaBounty is an American Corporation: the following are 2 articles with various ‘slants’ on this fishy tale…

Another (GMO) Fish Tale From Aqua Bounty

C Margulis
Corporate Crime Daily, January 27 2010
http://corporatecrime.wordpress.com/2010/01/27/another-gmo-fish-tale-from-aqua-bounty/
Earlier this month, genetically engineered (GMO) salmon produced by the US-company Aqua Bounty were reportedly condemned in Panama, due to fears that the super-salmon could escape and wreak havoc on natural fish populations. The company later claimed the report was inaccurate, but company documents  acknowledge that its Panamanian operation was established in 2008 with the goal of “conducting commercial trials of the Company’s AquAdvantage salmon.”

Whatever the situation in Panama, concerns about the impending approval of genetically engineered (GMO) salmon are nothing new (nor are concerns about farmed salmon in general: Greenpeace just announced that mega-retailer Target will stop selling all farmed salmon). An article last February [2009] noted that Aqua Bounty was “soon” expecting FDA approval for the GMO salmon, which grows more rapidly than its natural counterpart.

Aqua Bounty has been seeking FDA approval since 1996, and has repeatedly claimed approval was just around the corner. In 2003, company founder and then-CEO Elliot Entis told Business Week that he hoped for FDA approval within a year. In 2004, another report stated the company was looking for approval by the end of the year. Another Business Week story in 2006 noted the fish could be on the market “as early as 2008.”

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Coalition demands FDA deny approval of controversial Genetically Engineered Salmon

FDA Considers Approval of GE Salmon–the First GE Food Animal–Yet
Fails to Inform the Public of Environmental and Economic Risks

August 27, 2010
JOINT PRESS STATEMENT, from:

CENTER FOR FOOD SAFETY

FOOD AND WATER WATCH

SALMONAID- NORTHWEST ATLANTIC MARINE ALLIANCE

ORGANIC CONSUMERS ASSOCIATION

FRIENDS OF THE EARTH

THE LIVING OCEANS SOCIETY

SMALL BOAT COMMERCIAL SALMON FISHERMEN?S ASSOCIATION

THE GEORGIA STRAIT ALLIANCE

CALIFORNIANS FOR GE-FREE AGRICULTURE

THE ORGANIC & NON-GMO REPORT

PLANETARY HEALTH, INC.

SIERRA CLUB

SAY NO TO GMOS!

CENTER FOR ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH

CANADIAN BIOTECHNOLOGY ACTION NETWORK

INSTITUTE FOR FISHERIES RESOURCES

AMERICAN ANTI-VIVISECTION SOCIETY

PACIFIC COAST FEDERATION OF FISHERMEN’S ASSOCIATION MANGROVE ACTION PROJECT

FOOD FIRST / INSTITUTE FOR FOOD AND DEVELOPMENT POLICY

EDEN FOODS, INC.

THE NON-GMO PROJECT

NORTHWEST RESISTANCE AGAINST GENETIC ENGINEERING

PCC NATURAL MARKETS

AMBERWAVES

GLOUSTER FISHERMEN?S WIVES ASSOCIATION

FRESH THE MOVIE

WASHINGTON BIOTECHNOLOGY ACTION COUNCIL

OREGON PHYSICIANS FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

Washington, DC August 27, 2010

A coalition of 31 consumer, animal
welfare and environmental groups, along with commercial and
recreational fisheries associations and food retailers submitted a
joint statement criticizing an announcement this week by the U.S. Food
and Drug Administration (FDA) that it will potentially approve the
long-shelved AquAdvantage transgenic salmon as the first genetically
engineered (GE) animal intended for human consumption.

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Developer of genetically engineered salmon eyes Canadian regulators

Sarah Schmidt August 27, 2010

http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/Developer+genetically+engineered+salmon+eyes+Canadian+regulators/3446972/story.html#ixzz0xl0EAw6L

OTTAWA: The developer of genetically engineered salmon for human
consumption is now setting its sights on Health Canada, after U.S.
regulators on Wednesday announced their review of AquaBounty
Technologies Inc.’s historic application for the American market is
nearly complete.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration published details of the last
stages of its review for AquAdvantage Salmon, made from eggs produced
in a hatchery in Prince Edward Island. The genetically engineered fish
can grow at twice the normal rate, and the company, headquartered in
Massachusetts with Canadian operations in P.E.I. and Newfoundland and
Labrador, has been trying for a decade to get approval to become the
first genetically engineered animal that people would eat.

After the FDA’s special veterinary medicine committee convenes next
month to consider issues of animal health, food safety, environmental
concerns, and data validating the claim that AquAdvantage Salmon grow
faster than their conventionally bred counterparts, the Center for
Food Safety and Applied Nutrition will lead a public hearing to
consider legal issues around labelling, should the AquAdvantage Salmon
be approved in the next few months.

“We’re very encouraged,” AquaBounty president and chief executive
officer Ronald Stotish said in an interview Wednesday of the FDA review.
“This is the first food animal, we hope the world’s first FDA-approved
genetically modified food animal.”

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Genetically Engineered Fish in your food chain this year?

From Aol News
(Aug. 4) — A major U.S. fish research company has tampered with the DNA of Atlantic salmon by adding a quick-growth gene that allows the fish to eat year-around and grow more quickly. And the Food and Drug Administration is about to allow these genetically engineered salmon to head to market, the company says.

But food safety activists insist that the FDA doesn’t have adequate tests and regulations to ensure the safety of modified seafood, and others question whether consumers are even ready for it.

An AquaBounty salmon in a tank next to a normal Atlantic salmon

AquaBounty / MCT
An AquaBounty salmon rests in a tank behind a standard salmon that is the same age.

“Far from being a benefit to consumers or the environment, this merely allows factory fish farms to double production rates,” said George Kimbrell, senior attorney for the Center for Food Safety.

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