December 5, 2013
This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Will there be a Frankenfish Christmas surprise? I’ll tell you more after this —
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Slipped in among the Christmas gifts last year was a sneaky nod for Frankenfish by the FDA. The Food and Drug Administration chose the holidays to release its environmental assessment saying that genetically modified salmon made by a company called AquaBounty won’t have any significant impacts on the human environment and is unlikely to harm wild fish. That means the first man made animal for human consumption is poised to be Ok’d for market. Last week Canada approved of the sale of GM salmon eggs for cultivation in Panama, where AquaBounty hopes to launch its Frankenfish production lines. Senator Mark Begich says a letter is on its way to the FDA —
We’ll send it to FDA noting that the last time they had a surprise they announced it during the holiday season when no one had a chance to respond, and we would hope they will not do the same thing again.
Canada acknowledged that the GM salmon could present a high risk to wild fish if it escapes, and said there were no plans to sell or consume GM salmon eggs in Canada.
And I would say again that if this is such a great product, why is it being produced in Canada and then shipped to Panama to be basically manufactured, and then sold to the US market. If it’s so good then let’s follow our rules. Well, the problem is they can’t prove that it is safe and that it is the right kind of product. They are basically cloning a live product and I think that is very problematic for our fishing industry. 5
Begich is encouraged that a GM labeling amendment by Sen. Murkowski squeaked by Congress’s Appropriations committee — .
We have language in their on one of the of the appropriations bills that requires if any of this product hits the market there has to be a process for labeling. We’ve got to get the Appropriations bill passed but the fact is this has been tried multiple times and failed – I got on the Appropriations committee this year and we won that vote on a 15-14 vote with the majority the Democrats and a small group of Republicans and I’m feeling good that if we get that Appropriation Bill, well at least we’ll have a back stop on labeling.
Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods, serving Alaska’s fishing communities since 1910. On the web at www.oceanbeauty.com – In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.