Federal Legislation Would Ban the Sale of GE Salmon
Contact Congress to ensure that GE salmon stay out of the U.S. marketplace
While the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) determines whether it will approve the commercial sale of genetically engineered salmon for human consumption, legislation has been introduced that would prohibit the sale of these fish altogether. The Prevention of Escapement of Genetically Altered Salmon in the United States (PEGASUS) Act, HR 1667 and S 246 was introduced by Rep. Don Young and Senator Mark Begich, both from Alaska, which sees the importation of GE fish as a threat to the salmon industry. NAVS objects to the sale of the GE salmon because the FDA failed to conduct a thorough assessment of the safety and health of the salmon before considering approval of these fish for commercial use.
These bills are aimed at keeping genetically altered or engineered (GE) fish off the nation’s dinner plates and away from our nation’s rivers and oceans. PEGASUS would prohibit the shipment, transport or sale of genetically engineered fish in interstate commerce, unless the fish is under confined use for scientific purposes. PEGASUS would also outlaw the release of genetically engineered fish into a natural environment.
The FDA is currently considering public comments received on their Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI), which could clear the way for approval of the commercial sale of these salmon by the applicant, AquaBounty. 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 these 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 request before issuing any approval.
While the FDA is required to solicit and review comments before approving an application, they are under no mandate to accept those comments even if they overwhelmingly oppose the FDA’s findings. Congress, however, can act independently to ensure that the sale is prohibited altogether.
Contact your U.S. Representative and Senators for support of this measure.