The approval of genetically modified salmon has been a controversial issue for quite some time now, and the heat surrounding the altered fish isn’t dying down. Recently three United States consumer groups petitioned the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to enforce a more strict and rigorous review process for the genetically modified fish than is currently in place. The FDA needs to realize that many people simply do not want to knowingly consume this toxic creation.
Consumer Groups Call for Genetically Modified Salmon to be Classified as ‘Food Additive’
A new genetically modified animal hybrid known as genetically modified salmon ignited great concern in September of 2010 due to its threat to human health and the environment. While consumer groups and activists have (and still are) attempting to at the very least require labeling of the frankenfish, government agencies such as the United States Department of Agriculture have been pushing for its approval. The FDA currently classifies the genetically altered salmon to be a new animal drug for the approval process, but the new petition put forth by some consumer groups calls for the fish to be classified as a food additive instead – causing it to go through a much more rigorous process of FDA review and approval.
Consumer groups Food & Water Watch, Consumers Union, and the Center for Food Safety state in their petition that the genetic engineering process drastically alters the composition as well as nutritional value, causing the fish to be a food additive. This change would in turn make it more difficult to approve the salmon as safe, and therefore further protect public health. Given the numerous studies showing that genetically modified organisms threaten your health, this is the least the FDA could possibly do.
The Food & Water Watch received internal documents and emails from the U.S. Department of Interior’s Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) which exposed shocking concerns with AquaBounty’s genetically modified salmon not so long ago. Some of the information within the documents revealed that the FDA did not consult with both FWS and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to determine whether or not the genetically modified fish would impact wild, endangered Atlantic salmon. By not consulting with these groups, the FDA dodged requirements under the Endangered Species Act which was signed into law in the 70′s in order to protect animal species from extinction.
According to Reuters,
Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter said the company’s own study showed that genetically engineered salmon may contain increased levels of a hormone linked to breast, colon, prostate and lung cancer.
Although the approval of AquaBounty’s salmon was once blocked by the U.S. House of Representatives, it seems the push for approval is still hitting hard. If this salmon is approved, it will be the first genetically engineered animal to appear on your dinner plate (and you may not even know it).