Yesterday, the consumer advocacy group Food and Water Watch issued a statement asking Americans to contact the FDA and their Congressional representatives to fight the approval of GMO salmon. Genetically altered salmon, as the organization reminds consumers, hasn’t been tested, isn’t known to be safe and could destroy much of the world’s natural salmon population. And that doesn’t even include the negative health risks to humans who eat it.
“Only three days left to stop GE salmon from swimming into our supermarkets!” warned Food & Water Watch’s Sarah Alexander, “On April 26, the FDA will close what will likely be the final comment period before it makes a decision on approving this frankenfish.”
The consumer advocates are no strangers to fighting the FDA, the Monsanto Corp, AquaBounty and the host of other profit-driven entities seemingly obsessed with replacing America’s food supply with laboratory-created, genetically modified substitutes. And with only 48 hours remaining before the FDA closes the window for public comments, food safety advocates have turned up the pressure in the hopes that enough Americans will contact the government agency to force it to postpone the approval of GMO salmon or reject it outright.
Genetically engineered salmon
Sarah Alexander, Deputy Organizing Director for Food & Water Watch, noted just two of the group’s many concerns regarding GMO salmon:
- GE salmon has been shown to contain elevated levels of the hormone IGF-1, which has been linked to causing cancer in humans.
- Just a handful of GE salmon escapes could wreak havoc on our ocean ecosystems, potentially destroying the local, wild salmon population for food.
Alexander goes onto warn Americans, “This lab-based monstrosity has been rushed through the FDA approval process, which is pretty terrifying in and of itself. But even worse is the fact that, if it makes its way onto our grocery store shelves, it is likely to be unlabeled, which means we won’t even have the choice to avoid it.”
As the organization points out, the FDA doesn’t even do its own testing of the safety of new lab creations like GMO salmon. Instead, the government agency takes the word of the respective corporations requesting approval of a new food or drug. In the case of AquaBounty and their genetically altered salmon, the fish is considered both a food and a drug.
Take action against GMO salmon
Food and Water Watch has set up an automated, online method for consumers to send comments directly to FDA. ‘Right now, the FDA is in a mad dash to approve the sale of genetically engineered (GE) salmon – an untested, unlabeled and potentially unsafe food into our food supply’ the online petition reads. The group’s goal is to flood the agency with 60,000 consumer comments demanding the FDA reject genetically engineered salmon.
So far, at least 30 US Representatives and 14 US Senators have written to President Obama and the FDA expressing their fears over the safety of GE salmon, the rushed and incomplete approval process, or simply asking the Obama administration to reject the corporation’s application for the go-ahead to begin selling the laboratory-created fish in America’s grocery stores.
Food & Water Watch closes its recap of the fight against GMO salmon by making one ominous suggestion – President Obama and members of the FDA should watch the movie Jurassic Park before they rush to approve the first ‘transgenic’ animal allowed into the US food supply. For consumers that would like to contact the FDA before the commenting period expires on Friday, visit the FWW Action Page.
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