FDA Poised to Approve Commercial Sale of GE Salmon
The U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has moved one step closer to approving the commercial sale of genetically engineered salmon for human consumption. The submission to the FDA provided by AquaBounty, the Massachusetts-based company behind the production of these fish, relies on scientifically flawed data and a limited sample size to demonstrate the safety of these fish. There are however serious concerns that have arisen in evaluations of the fish by outside sources, including hazards to the environment and to human and animal health.
The FDA has released an Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) that will clear the way for approval of the commercial sale of these salmon. Given the fact that the FDA opposes labeling genetically-engineered food, consumers would not be able to distinguish between GE salmon and naturally grown salmon, especially when used in prepared foods.
While the EA and the FONSI focus on the fact that the fish will be engineered and raised outside of the U.S., the fact is that the salmon are intended for sale in the U.S. market. Insufficient consideration has been given to the consequences of raising, consuming, and treating GE fish and it is irresponsible for the federal government to give its approval without considerably more evidence of the safety of the salmon. The FDA should be conducting a full Environmental Impact Statement on AquaBounty’s request before issuing any approval!
It isn’t too late to make your voice heard on this issue. The FDA is accepting public comments on its assessment until April 26, 2013. You can submit comments electronically or through the mail. The important thing is to make sure that the FDA hears from as many people and organizations as possible that GE fish or meat is not good for the environment, human health, or the health of the animals.