Keep Genetically Engineered Fish Off The Dinner Table!
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Sponsor: The Rainforest Site
Stop corporate interests from turning our food into an ecological disaster.
How would you feel if you were told your food was manipulated with genetic engineering? For most of us, the thought would be quite unsettling.
But it's not a myth. Certain companies are trying to push the genetically engineered salmon agenda, hoping to start selling salmon whose genes have been manipulated to make them grow larger than their natural counterparts.
The FDA has said there are only minute differences between the two fish, but the fact is genetically engineered salmon hasn't been around long enough to truly understand its implications. Like any other fish, genetically altered salmon could contain dangerous allergens. In addition, no one is sure of the effects these fish would have on the salmon's ecosystem.
Studies have shown that there is a high risk for genetically engineered organisms to escape into the natural environment, and that genetically engineered salmon can crossbreed with native fish1. When these salmon escape or are accidentally released into the environment, the new species could threaten wild populations by mating with endangered salmon species, out-competing them for scarce resources and habitat, and/or introducing new diseases2. These contamination episodes have cost U.S. farmers billions of dollars over the past decade. In wild organisms like fish, it would be even more damaging1.
In 2020, the US District Court for the Northern District of California declared the approval of genetically engineered salmon unlawful, based on several environmental law violations3. The FDA permitted U.S. company AquaBounty to produce its GM salmon in Canada at an on-land facility in Prince Edward Island and in the U.S., at a plant in Indiana. AquaBounty also recently announced plans to build a third plant in Kentucky.
The Court ruled that FDA failed to consider and study environmental risks of this novel genetically altered fish. The world's preeminent experts on genetically engineered fish and risk assessment, as well as biologists at U.S. wildlife agencies charged with protecting fish and wildlife, heavily criticized FDA's approval for failing to evaluate the impacts of lab-altered salmon on native salmon populations. FDA ignored these concerns in the final approval4.
More than 60 retailers, including Target, Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Safeway and Kroger, representing more than 9,000 grocery stores across the country, have made commitments to not sell this genetically modified fish, should it be approved by the FDA5.
Join the growing number of individuals standing up for the health of people, our planet, and its animals. Sign the petition below and demand the FDA fully understand the consequences of genetically engineered salmon before giving its stamp of approval.
- Chuck Abbot, Successful Farming (6 November 2020), "FDA Must Study What Happens If GMO Salmon Escape, Says Judge."
- Recirculating Farms Coalition (5 November 2020), "Federal Court Declares Approval of Genetically Engineered Salmon Unlawful."
- Ecology Action Centre (6 November 2020), "U.S. court declares genetically modified salmon unlawful after Ecology Action Centre and other groups argue risk to endangered Atlantic salmon."
- Center for Biological Diversity (31 March 2016), "Lawsuit Challenges FDA's Approval of Genetically Engineered Salmon."
- Friends of the Earth (2015), "Costco members, fishermen, environmental and labor groups demand Costco say no to GMO salmon."
Dear United States Commissioner of Food and Drugs,
It may not be long before genetically manipulated animal food products are sitting on our dining room tables. That's because several American companies are developing technology to alter the genes of certain fish in order to attain specific physical characteristics.
Genetically engineered salmon can be many times larger than their natural counterparts, thus the incentive for the experiment. However, this technology simply hasn't been around long enough to truly know the effects it might have both on humans and the environment.
Playing around with genetics and DNA is a dangerous activity that should only be done under the most informed of circumstances. We can't have genetically engineered salmon hitting stores until all implications have been explored and understood.
Please do not give your stamp of approval to this risky experiment until you have all of the necessary information.