September 25, 2014
This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Support for Frankenfish surfaces in DC. More after this —
A group of 90 scientists and biotechnology execs from around the world are pushing President Obama to expedite approval of genetically modified salmon for US markets.
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A group of 90 scientists and biotechnology execs from around the world are pushing President Obama to expedite approval of genetically modified salmon for US markets. They urged in a letter last week that the Food and Drug Administration put an end to the long wait for final approval of laboratory produced salmon made by Aqua Bounty Technologies. The company has been trying for FDA approval for 20 years for what would be the first animal ok’d for human consumption..
The Frankenfish backers said that the Aqua Bounty salmon has met or exceeded all federal requirements and reviews, and called the 16 month review of public comments ‘unprecedented.’ More than 1.5 million people wrote in opposition to the genetically tweaked salmon, and 65 supermarkets have said they won’t carry it.
Senator Mark Begich was the first to pounce on what he calls ‘test tube’ fish-
I got a coalition of sports fishermen, commercial fishermen, subsistence users, business owners, environmental groups, development groups, you name it in a very strong, not only Alaska coalition, but national coalition of people, and we dropped on the FDA like a ton of bricks.
In a rebuttal letter, Begich said claims that genetically tweaked salmon are safe are simply not true.
And I’ll use every inch of the clout of the oceans subcommittee that deals with fisheries, and my seniority in the Senate to push back on FDA.
Studies show the fish can breed with wild salmon if released, just as GMO wheat can be found growing in the wild – something growers assured would never happen.
Senators Begich and Murkowski have partnered to launch legislation to stop FDA approval of Frankenfish, and to require labeling if it is approved. The man made salmon can grow three times faster than normal. Senator Murkowski questioned if it can even be called a real fish –
What this does it takes it takes a transgenic Atlantic salmon egg, which has genes from an ocean pout, somewhat akin to an eel, and it combines with the genes of a Chinook salmon. I have questioned time and time again, why we would want to be messing with Mother Nature like this. We are trying to invent a species that would grow quicker to out compete our wild stocks. This experiment I think puts at risk the health of our fisheries not only in Alaska, but throughout the Pacific Northwest. 4
No response yet from the FDA but stay tuned.
Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods – who salutes and says thanks to the men and women fishing across Alaska for their hard work and dedication. (www.oceanbeauty.com) In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.