A Small Frankenfish Win

September 28, 2010
Category: GMO News

UntitledAs the Washington Post reported, “Environmental organizations, consumer groups and independent researchers assailed the plans of a Massachusetts company to market the first genetically modified animal as food in the United States—an Atlantic salmon—and argued at a public meeting Monday that federal regulators should deny permission.”

The article quoted ANH-USA communications director Darrell Rogers as saying, “Science cannot prove that this new gene-spliced salmon is safe for human consumption over a long period of time. This recklessly and needlessly endangers human health.” You can read Darrell’s complete remarks on GE Salmon here.

Articles in the Washington Post and in the New York Times seemed to indicate that the FDA’s passage of the genetically modified salmon was a foregone conclusion. But the FDA’s veterinary panel—the committee responsible for advising on GE salmon’s approval—unexpectedly requested more information from AquaBounty, the fish’s manufacturer, and asked for more time to study the data. They want to pursue a more rigorous analysis of the fish’s possible health effects and environmental impact.
It should be noted that the FDA is not required to accept the panel’s recommendation, but it is harder for the agency to ignore it because of intense public interest in the issue.
Two hundred thousand public comments were submitted on the AquAdvantage salmon issue, and hundreds of organizations, restaurants, and food companies have signed letters opposing the genetically engineered fish.
“Dear Colleague” letters to FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg are being circulated around the House and the Senate, gaining signatures in opposition to the salmon. “There is no timeline on a decision,’’ says Siobhan DeLancey of the FDA Office of Public Affairs.
Last Friday, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D–NJ), who chairs the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee, requested more information from Dr. Hamburg regarding the safety of genetically engineered salmon for public consumption. Pallone stated that, “Up until this point, I don’t believe FDA’s review has been comprehensive enough to move forward with the approval process.”
Rep. Pallone is also a member of the Natural Resources Insular Affairs Oceans & Wildlife subcommittee, which has regulatory authority over the country’s fisheries.
AquaBounty stock plummeted 30% after the hearings. Let’s hope the stock market got it right.

24 responses to “A Small Frankenfish Win”

  1. carolyn says:

    as happy as i am to sign on-line petitions, and this one against all odds seems to have made some difference, we still have too much evidence that the only thing the FDA listens to is the sound of money. our country is crossing over into the land of oligarchy while the majority of Americans are too entertained to notice.
    do politicians even care about our votes anymore, once they have them?
    i’d like to propose something more radical. what about a month long total boycott on all salmon to coincide with the FDA’s 30 day public comment period? of course, many of us have decided that once this creature is approved, we will sadly never eat salmon again, but by then it will be too late.
    we need to show now what will happen big time and permanently if they pass this. what if all these groups- food and water watch, slow food, the union of concerned scientists, natural news, fresh, weston price groups, etc- got together and advertised that starting date and appealed to their members to stop buying and eating any and all forms of salmon for a month?
    what about readers of David Kirby, Michael Moore, Michael Pollan, Jeffrey Smith, Wendell Berry- what if those authors came out and said “we are boycotting salmon right now and we urge you to do the same.”
    what if concerned chefs took salmon off the menu of their restaurants for a month and put a note in saying “due to our concern for the health of our customers, we will not be serving salmon until the FDA…”
    then we could all write to and/ or call our senators, congressmen, the president, the FDA, aquabounty, our newspapers and explain why we were doing this
    imagine if salmon spoiled in grocery store ice chests, if fishermen couldn’t unload their haul- yes, it would hurt them for a month but then they could call/ write their “representatives” and say “what’s up? no restaurants or stores will buy my salmon?”
    it might give the poor salmon a chance to repopulate.
    can we do this? we have the internet, facebook, twitter and all those ways to get the word out. There are many groups centered around food and health on facebook. We just have to get together. obama used the internet to great advantage during his campaign. other countries, france and italy come to mind, are always striking over this and that and it seems to work for them. let’s go on a salmon strike. BEFORE this gets approval.
    i’m pretty sure that a few thousand or even million on-line petitions aren’t going to matter a damn to these guys when it comes time to make the final decision. their big moneyed patrons will be looking over their shoulders. money seems to be the only language they speak so let’s talk to them in words they can understand!
    because really, what’s next? pigs with no pain sensors? chickens with no feet? cows with no bones?
    i really think we have to get serious. All the strides you are making towards changing the food system will be nullified if this passes.

    • Laura Wiggins says:

      That is a good idea. I already only buy wild salmon but until this is settled I will not buy salmon. Now I have a radical idea of my own. Let’s get the federal government out of lives as much as possible. They were forbidden by the Constitution to be into all the stuff they are into – almost everything they do was reserved to the States to control. Let’s get rid of the FDA completely – they are a waste of money and much more trouble than they are worth. They don’t protect anybody from anything but the truth.

    • Tina says:

      Very well said, Carolyn question is where do we start? How do we get organized?

    • Lorenzo says:

      Boycott is a great idea if our efforts fail. I’m sure many others would agree and are on standby to boycott if GM Salmon is approved.

  2. Enrique & Laura Dovalo says:

    It is very terrible how people with power in the government want to push for such horrible ideas in wanted to become God or Nature. It is time to stop all this none sense. First generically modify fruits and vegetables then farming fish and other species, now they want to do make a generically modify fish. when are they stopping. Instead, all that money spent in all this garbage, should be use to help finish hunger in the world, to clean our water full of pollution, chemicals such as mercury, lead and many more poisons and to stop selling drugs to a lot of people who the only thing they do is become sicker and poorer. We need to start from scratch, we need a new beginning, we need to be more human!!!,

  3. Violet Osmun says:

    We should not fool around with our food
    we have no evidence that says genetiticaly altered food is safe,in fact,there is evidence that it`s not
    Europe will not accept any,because they are sure it is not safe.
    so don`t go there.

  4. It will soon be impossible for me to eat anything that is not grown in my own yard. Fortunately I ive in an area of many small organic farms & I have a small garden. I eat fish, but these fish are released to the market I will have to stop eating fish altogether. Where do these people get off thinking we should eat their product without knowing exactily what it is. This is ridiculous–should not even be a consideration! Just because it can be invented and marketed does not mean the public HAS to buy it! I will eat no fish rather than take a chance that I will get genetically engineered fish.

  5. Ted Birnbaum says:

    I wish ANH would lobby some of the Senate and House members who are supposedly on our side
    to write and support legislation that would clearly state: in accordance with Freedom of Speech guaranteed by the Constitution, foods and natural dietary supplements can legally make claims to treat and cure disease without the approval of the FDA or any other government agency; and that any conflicting provisions of current law are hereby repealed. Additionally, only products or speech that are proven fraudulent in a court of law law, can be banned or penalized. Further, all products must include disclosure of any risk of possible harm known by the manufacturer. Risk of possible harm will be defined as cases where animals or humans were actually harmed. Fraud shall consist of failure to make such disclosure on the product or a website indicated on the product or for benefit claims made that were never experienced by any people.

  6. Bill says:

    Given the FDA’s long and storied history of approving lethal drugs, it would behoove us to be very cautious when dealing with mother nature and to at least label the product so consumers have a choice.

  7. Dave says:

    an organism that grows throughout it’s life is the definition of a cancer.

  8. hank w. says:

    Look at it this way…The natural salmon in the waters of the world…have had thousands of years to evolve into their respective biospheres and are hearty creatures.. And now comes a GMO fish where we have no idea what it will do to the natural environment. Because of it’s rapid growth rate, will it ravenously eat all of the food fish salmon normally feed upon and result in mass starvations of natural salmon populations? Will their breeding be compromised and species sterility occur? Will their increased excrement smother other life forms? Will their alien flesh lead to unforeseen gastric illnesses or cancers in species that eat the GM salmon?…bears, eagles, orcas,people, etc.
    Let’s just load up the frankenfish gun and shoot it and hope it doesn’t hit anybody or any creature.

  9. Alfiya Aleeva says:

    Why any of them need more time for investigation over GMO when much easier, cost free and quicker would be to collect all GMO related scientific evidences from all over the world already showing GMO irreversible and extremely harmful effect on human, animal and nature. All scientific plants such bio, nano etc,should be shut down as interfering with the Mother Nature destroying the planet. It is all due to greed, greed of 1% of planet population who already controls us, the top 10% of the riches control 85% of global wealth! those people dictate, pay money and employ the most brainy people.More than that they locate their staff and companies all over the world and then speculate saying research in Switzerland or Spain. P

  10. marie scherbaum says:

    WON’T BUY THIS KIND OF FISH. MARIE

  11. Lean and mean.. not fat and puss..and big picture future.. not bucks today.. are the best for all.

  12. Adele Pollack says:

    Thank you for staying with this vital subject. If the FDA doesn’t want to lose the confidence of the general public, then it should be urged ALWAYS to examine any kind of tinkering with food that could very well create potential harm for human consumption. The questions is, “is it always the bottom line of some companies that matter, over and above the safety of a food product”?

  13. Dennis Bowman says:

    I am utterly against any GMO food products intended for human consumption and or introduced into the environment whether intentionally or by accident. There is absolutely NO WAY to confirm the safety of short term or long term consumption or exposure to GMO substances by any organization and most certainly the FDA.

  14. Ingrid Harris says:

    Yesterday Johnson & Johnson was up against Congress regarding their children’s drugs that were removed from the market 5 months ago because they were contaminated with bacteria and foreign substances and the dosages were not correct. J&J KNOWINGLY paid people to buy up their products from the stores rather than doing a recall. And the CEO tells Congress, “I’m sorry”. Excuse me but I do not get it. Shouldn’t HE be in JAIL? They are trying to stop nutrtional companies from saying that their products work but J&J can knowingly keep bad products on the market. Again, I ask, is this America or China? There is no freedom of speech. Money talks.
    We must take back our rights. We must be in the streets. Yes, it will be a sacrifice but that is the price of freedom. Fight for the right to healthy food, water, non-GMO and alternative healing.

  15. Michael says:

    Why don’t we let Aqua Bounty provide the salmon to our congressmen and the FDA in their dining rooms.

  16. Linda says:

    I am boycotting salmon starting today. Since I don’t buy cod, pollock, etc. anymore, I have effectively boycotting most fish anyway. We need safe food. Now.

  17. Lynne says:

    I hope we get a good decision on this thing because like all of you, I agree that it won’t be possible to save the wild salmon stocks otherwise.
    Though it sounds like a good idea to boycott, I will keep eating wild caught salmon, as I still eat wild, line caught tuna, until the decision is made by the FDA or whomever, because it’s such a small market I want to keep supporting those fishermen down to the wire.
    Yes, I am a real person, not any corporation shill.

  18. Great!!! praise god !

  19. as happy as i am to sign on-line petitions, and this one against all odds seems to have made some difference, we still have too much evidence that the only thing the FDA listens to is the sound of money. our country is crossing over into the land of oligarchy while the majority of Americans are too entertained to notice.
    do politicians even care about our votes anymore, once they have them?
    i’d like to propose something more radical. what about a month long total boycott on all salmon to coincide with the FDA’s 30 day public comment period? of course, many of us have decided that once this creature is approved, we will sadly never eat salmon again, but by then it will be too late.
    we need to show now what will happen big time and permanently if they pass this. what if all these groups- food and water watch, slow food, the union of concerned scientists, natural news, fresh, weston price groups, etc- got together and advertised that starting date and appealed to their members to stop buying and eating any and all forms of salmon for a month?
    what about readers of David Kirby, Michael Moore, Michael Pollan, Jeffrey Smith, Wendell Berry- what if those authors came out and said “we are boycotting salmon right now and we urge you to do the same.”
    what if concerned chefs took salmon off the menu of their restaurants for a month and put a note in saying “due to our concern for the health of our customers, we will not be serving salmon until the FDA…”
    then we could all write to and/ or call our senators, congressmen, the president, the FDA, aquabounty, our newspapers and explain why we were doing this
    imagine if salmon spoiled in grocery store ice chests, if fishermen couldn’t unload their haul- yes, it would hurt them for a month but then they could call/ write their “representatives” and say “what’s up? no restaurants or stores will buy my salmon?”
    it might give the poor salmon a chance to repopulate.
    can we do this? we have the internet, facebook, twitter and all those ways to get the word out. There are many groups centered around food and health on facebook. We just have to get together. obama used the internet to great advantage during his campaign. other countries, france and italy come to mind, are always striking over this and that and it seems to work for them. let’s go on a salmon strike. BEFORE this gets approval.
    i’m pretty sure that a few thousand or even million on-line petitions aren’t going to matter a damn to these guys when it comes time to make the final decision. their big moneyed patrons will be looking over their shoulders. money seems to be the only language they speak so let’s talk to them in words they can understand!
    because really, what’s next? pigs with no pain sensors? chickens with no feet? cows with no bones?
    i really think we have to get serious. All the strides you are making towards changing the food system will be nullified if this passes.

  20. Kathleen Croddy says:

    It is obvious that the big companys rule our government. Lobbying is really bribery! I must remind all Americans that the constitution demands that we have the right to OVERTHROW the goverment that is behaving badly enough! and “we the people” decide when that is happening. Is it now time to decide ? Consider this carefully!

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