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U.S. FDA Chief Still Deciding: Is GMO Salmon Safe?

Christina Sarich
April 12th, 2014
Updated 05/05/2014 at 9:22 pm
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gmo salmon safe 263x164 U.S. FDA Chief Still Deciding: Is GMO Salmon Safe?GMO Salmon could ruin ocean life and human health, yet the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is still considering whether a proposed genetically engineered fish is safe for consumers. FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, the ‘Food Chief’ is still examining over 35,000 comments relating to AquaBounty Technologies Inc.’s new GMO salmon, awaiting approval for mass distribution.

AquaBounty applied for approval back in the 1990s, and is eager to have their version of genetically modified salmon approved, but what of the GMO issues we still haven’t addressed with GMO crops? The issues are hardly any different than those existing for GMO salmon. How do you keep genetically modified salmon from cross-breeding with non-GMO salmon once it is let loose, and how will consumers know what they will be eating if no labeling is required?

Kroger and Safeway, two of the largest grocery store chains in the United States, have already refused to sell AquaBounty’s salmon, but if the FDA approves it, how would they even know what they were selling consumers without labeling laws?

Hamburg told the U.S. Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee during a hearing about the agency’s current initiatives, “We will be moving forward in a deliberate, science-driven way, reflecting all of the important inputs … as we consider this product application.”

AquaBounty expects a decision from the FDA any time now, as it was supposed to have word by the end of last year. Hamburg refused to comment on the decision timeline.

If approved, AdquAdvantage salmon would be the fist genetically modified animal product to be offered to consumers in the US. This, despite trials on safety being minimally conducted, even though the fish is bred to grow up to 100 times as fast as regular salmon. The long-term effects of GMO salmon on the environment and human health are still unknown. Considering the creation of super bugs with Monsanto’s RoundUp Ready crops, what is to prevent Super Fish, or other genetically mutated ocean creatures once these genetic alterations make their way into an ecosystem?

Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska told Hamburg she wanted assurances that the agency would not allow the fish to be sold if it could not determine it was safe. She also said if the agency does approve it, the fish should carry clear labeling to show it is genetically altered. She stated:

“I don’t believe that the FDA has adequately studied the environmental effects, the economic impacts … let alone the potential health impacts on humans…If we could guarantee that it wasn’t safe to eat, then it would not pass our approval standards.” 

How, though, can Hamburg or the FDA guarantee that GMO salmon is safe?

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  • Y.Munster

    Alan yes its a disaster to the our Pacific and it gradually is leaking into the Atlantic too as they are connected. The grateness of this disaster is being covered up nothing should be consumed anymore out of these waters. This has wiped out half of all our animal kingdom. Also science was working on de-salting machines for salt water to overcome worlds water shortage, now these waters can not be used for this neither. I have stopped consuming seefood due to the radio activity…but I still find in the super market seefood fresh out of the Pacific..I wish people would wake up…X

  • gmo2ashes

    As usual, the FDA has avoided and suppressed any analysis of a potential worse-case scenario for GM salmon.

    During Bush II’s admin, the FDA announced it would regulate AquAdvantage salmon as an animal drug rather than food.

    AquAdvantage salmon eggs are to be produced in a facility on Prince Edward Island, Canada, shipped to a facility in Panama to be raised in tanks, then processed before being shipped to American stores – thus circumventing any regulations prohibiting eggs or live fish entering the US.

    It’s noteworthy that in 2008, AquaBounty’s Panama facility was totally swamped by a storm. No one knows if their GM salmon escaped into the wild during that compromise.

    Today there is still no transparent EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) that completes a genetic and ecological risk assessment of GM salmon escaping into the wild, nor of humans eating these unnatural, lab-creatures.

    With AquaBounty losing much of its assets in the last few years – and considering how the FDA operates by collecting huge approval fees for drugs, etc. – it’s likely the FDA is hesitant because the approval fees they will demand for GM salmon still looks a bit fishy.

  • pcakes

    ‘Global March Against Monsanto’ – Saturday, May 24, 2014.
    Google it to find the event nearest you and join millions worldwide marching to take back our food!!

  • Undecider

    The toughness of the decision comes down to, “are the GM corporations my boss or not?”

  • Ann

    If the FDA has to even to so far as to “Think” about passing GMO Salmon, then it is time to abolish the FDA.
    Who in their right mind would allow such an atrosity like “GMO Salmon”, unless of course, the FDA is getting a financial kickback from this Satanic company. If the FDA should pass such a proposterous idea, then every citizen of this country can be assured that the FDA is getting a financial kickback and they do not care about the health of its citizens, the environment or this planet! Also rest assured, that the FDA won’t be consuming this poison!
    This Demonic company proposes to alter Salmon produced by God in Nature into a “Man-Made In Lab “Poisonous” Salmon and the FDA is actually “thinking” about passing this?

    • skinnycat

      The FDA will not know if their salmon is GMO – so my guess is that they will no longer consume salmon – period.

  • Alan D Smith

    The question should be, “Is radioactive salmon safe?” Everything in the Pacific Ocean is dead or dying. It’s sea floor is blanketed with dead sea creatures. FukUs-hima ‘s three hundred tones of radioactive waste water every day for two years has killed the Pacific and will eventually kill all our oceans, an extinction level event that hasn’t been properly addressed and that no one is talking about.

    • gmo2ashes


    • Andrew

      Fear mongering much?

      • Alan D Smith

        Well, if the truth scares you, yeah. Just trying to inform the ignorant.