Stop Genetically Engineered Salmon from Entering Our Food Supply

Target: The Food and Drug Administration

Goal: To prevent the approval and entry of genetically engineered salmon into the US food supply.

Genetically engineered fish grow at twice the rate as a normal fish, resulting in faster marketability and increased profits. But there are concerns for the environment and consumers if this “transgenic” animal is allowed into the US food supply. Tell the Food and Drug Administration to not unleash genetically engineered salmon into our food supply.

The company that created the genetically engineered salmon, AquaBounty, plans to raise only sterile fish, but the FDA has labeled this misleading because about 5% of the fish raised may be fertile. Genetically engineered salmon could threaten wild fish populations. If the fish were to escape from an ocean fish farm it could lead to competition for habitat, food and mates with wild fish. With land-based facilities, there is the risk of re-circulated water eventually being released into the ocean providing an escape for genetically engineered fish or their eggs. Research published by the National Academy of Sciences revealed that if just 60 genetically engineered fish were to escape into a wild fish population of 60,000, the wild population would go extinct in no more than 40 generations. Escaped salmon have also been linked to the spread of diseases and sea lice into the wild fish population.

The extinction of wild fish supply would be detrimental to fishing communities. The interbreeding or mingling of genetically modified and wild fish could cause foreign markets to impose strong regulations on genetically engineered foods and reject US salmon, harming the industry.

Consumers may have fewer choices of what kinds of salmon to buy if GE salmon is approved. They might even not know they are eating genetically engineered salmon because the FDA may not require the labeling of such a product. The GE salmon contains more harmful chemicals and less omega 3′s than wild fish. There are also increased levels of insulin-like growth hormones also known as a carcinogen in these GE salmon. Additionally, there is potential of increased food allergy  in this species because of higher levels of allergy producing compounds.

All in all, genetically engineered salmon is risky for the environment, the fishing industry, and public health. Let the FDA know your disapproval of genetically modified salmon. We must prevent the potential downward spiral of dangerous food supplies through genetic engineering.

PETITION LETTER

Dear Commissioner,

I am writing to you to please ban the FDA approval of genetically engineered salmon into the US food supply. As commissioner of the FDA, you already know that genetically engineered salmon contains increased levels of carcinogens. Genetically engineered salmon could also threaten wild fish populations. Research published by the National Academy of Sciences revealed that if just 60 genetically engineered fish were to escape into a wild fish population of 60,000, the wild population would go extinct in no more than 40 generations. Escaped salmon have also been linked to the spread of diseases and sea lice into the wild fish population.

GE salmon contains more harmful chemicals and less omega 3′s than wild fish. There are also increased levels of insulin-like growth hormones also known as a carcinogen in these GE salmon. Additionally, there is potential of increased food allergy in this species because of higher levels of allergy producing compounds.

The potential effects on consumer health, the environment, and the fishing industry are not worth the risk. I ask you to fully evaluate the impacts of genetically engineered salmon before approving it for our food supply.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

photo credit: public-domain-image.com

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2 Comments

  1. We have no right to tamper with nature like this. It will lead to the destruction of everything, beginning with the food supply for us and other wild animals who depend on salmon.

  2. Amanda: you are either very misinformed, ignorant, or intentionally dishonest. I will let your readers decide which. The GM salmon you refer to will be more than 99% sterile, but the FDA has officially allowed a 5% margin of error. Your statement that “the FDA has labeled this misleading” is wrong and preposterous, because the 5% figure is the FDA’s own published guidelines. Your speculation that “if the fish were to escape from an ocean fish farm“ is similarly ignorant and disingenuous; if you took the time to read the FDA findings and conditions of use, you would have known that AquaBounty has agreed not to allow their salmon to be reared in “ocean fish farms” (they will only be reared in contained, land based systems). Your reference to wild salmon becoming extinct after contact with GM salmon (which originated from talking points probably provided to you by FWW) is false and disingenuous; the author of the Trojan Theory to which you are referring has publically stated (at the FDA hearing and in scientific publications) that his mathematical model would not apply to the GM salmon in question. Finally, your statement that “the GE salmon contain increased levels of carcinogens” is similarly inaccurate, but you would not know that since you are only repeating erroneous claims by FWW, rather than actually reading the FDA findings which demonstrated that there were no significant differences in the level of ANY hormones between the GM salmon and conventional, non-GM farmed salmon. The most ludicrous aspect of your questionable petition is that you are petitioning the same government agency (FDA) which knows better than anyone that many of your statements are inaccurate.

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