Last week, the FDA failed to protect public health and the environment and approved unlabeled and poorly tested GMO AquaBounty salmon. For years, Food & Water Watch has fought — with nearly 1.5 million concerned consumers, scientists and salmon growers from around the world, and members of Congress — against AquaBounty’s genetically engineered salmon. A few reasons why approving GMO salmon is a terrible idea:
- AquaBounty’s disastrous environmental record. In recent years, AquaBounty facilities outside the United States have dealt with an accidental disease outbreak, “lost” salmon, and a fine from Panamanian regulators for breaking that country’s environmental laws.
- The inadequate review process. The FDA is supposed to protect public safety, but their environmental review of the first GMO food animal was cut down to a mere environmental assessment, which is less thorough than the other review option. Had they reviewed these fish properly, they would have researched the threat this controversial new fish could pose to wild fish populations and ecosystems.
- Academic scientists found that GMO salmon readily breed with a different species of fish. Canadian government scientists also found that AquaBounty's salmon are more susceptible to disease-causing bacteria and struggle with inconsistent growth rates and performance.
- The FDA’s shockingly lenient approval process included reviewing an AquaBounty study that only examined six salmon. And they showed a 20 to 50 percent increased allergenic potency.
- They won’t even be labeled. This product will be hitting store shelves without a mandatory labeling requirement, so concerned consumers won’t even be able to choose whether or not they’re eating it. This ignores consumer’s fundamental right to know how their food is produced and is could create confusion in the marketplace because many people could avoid purchasing ANY salmon for fear that it is genetically engineered.
We’re disappointed, but not surprised…which means we have a plan. This isn’t over and we’ll keep fighting. President Obama and Congress could stop GMO salmon from ever reaching our plates — please join us now in taking action.