Eat Your GMO Fish and Shut Up, CEO Says

By Elaine Watson
Food Navigator
July 25, 2011

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Arguments put forward by senators attempting to derail the approval process for the world’s first genetically engineered fish for human consumption are politically motivated and have no basis in fact, according to the firm trying to bring them to market.

AquaBounty Technologies, AquAdvantage Atlantic Salmon includes a gene from the faster growing Pacific Chinook Salmon, which enables it to reach maturity twice as quickly as standard Atlantic salmon and consume less feed.

The reduced production costs meant that the fish could be reared inland in tanks in the U.S. reducing transport costs and carbon emissions, said the firm’s chief executive Ronald Stotish.

The transgenic fish were biologically and chemically indistinguishable from standard Atlantic salmon, but simply grew faster, claimed Stotish, who was speaking to FoodNavigator-USA.com after a group of senators and congressmen wrote to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) calling it to cease the approval process.

“The physical size of the end fish is just the same. This really is a precise technology and a remarkably simple change. It just makes them grow faster.”

Claims flatly contradicted by the Evidence

Letters to FDA commissioner, Margaret Hamburg, signed by 8 senators and 15 members of the House of Representatives, cite “a variety of unspecified concerns from potential threats to public health and the environment, to the socio-economic impact on producers of sustainable wild salmon.”

A press release by one signatory, senator Mark Begich, warns that fish could “decimate wild salmon populations” and adds: “We don’t need Frankenfish threatening our fish populations and the coastal communities that rely on them.”

But these claims were flatly contradicted by evidence made public by the FDA after a meeting of its Veterinary Medicine Advisory Committee last year, insisted Stotish, who was “pulling my hair out” waiting for the FDA to make a final decision.

As the politicians in question were well aware, he said, the transgenic salmon were sterile, exclusively female, unable to breed even if they escape from enclosed, FDA regulated facilities into the wild.

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Genetically Engineered Salmon Will Hit Food Chain Unlabeled

This new species of Salmon, literally grown in a lab, will end the natural population in just a few generations. Eel, insect and other genes are contained in the new franken-fish

Natural News

As the FDA stands poised to approve genetically modified (GM) salmon safe for public consumption, the next logical question concerns how GM salmon would be labeled. Would the fish come with a large red warning that says, “Genetically modified salmon”?

As it turns out, no. In fact, the FDA has already gone on the record stating it will not require any special labeling of genetically modified salmon. You, the consumer, just have to take a wild guess because you’re not allowed to know what you’re really eating.

Does this look like something you want to eat?

The biotech industry takes this absurdity one step further by claiming that labeling GM foods would just “confuse” consumers. David Edwards, the director of animal biotechnology at the Biotechnology Industry Organization, explained it in this way: “Extra labeling only confuses the consumer,” he says. “It differentiates products that are not different.”

Except that they are different. If they were really no different, then AquAdvantage company wouldn’t be growing them. The whole point of genetically modified salmon is that they are modified with extra growth hormone genes to make them grow more quickly. I don’t know where David Edwards is getting his information, but in the rest of the world, when something is different, that means it’s different.

If it’s no different, then why are so many GM salmon processes patented? If it’s no different, there would be nothing to patent. The entire purpose of a patent is to make a legal claim that “we invented something different” and we own the monopoly rights to it.

The GM salmon industry can’t have it both ways, you see. They can’t claim it’s so unique that their technologies and animals should be proprietary or patented, yet when it comes to food labeling, they claim there are no differences. It’s either different or it isn’t, and in the case of GM salmon, only an outright liar would look you in the eye and claim GM salmon is identical to regular farmed salmon or wild-caught salmon.

FDA insists on keeping people in the dark

The FDA, for its sad part in this saga, claims that it would be against the law to require the honest labeling of GM foods. This agency claims that since GM salmon is identical to regular salmon (it’s “no different” once again, they say), they can’t require it to be labeled any differently.

Except, of course, it is different. The genetic code of GM salmon is provably different, and since that genetic code is imprinted in every cell of the fish flesh, consumers are buying genetically modified fish with a different genetic code whose sole purpose was to alter the biochemistry of that fish so that it would grow larger more quickly. Thus, the physical expression of GM salmon is, by definition, different from the physical expression of regular salmon.

When you eat genetically modified salmon, you are eating something that’s different from regular (natural) salmon.

Word game trickery

What the FDA and biotech industries are doing with the GM salmon issue is playing word games, trying to confuse consumers with sleight-of-mouth language intentionally designed to mislead and misinform. They’ve already decided they want to approve GM salmon and they don’t want it to be accurately labeled. In essence, they want to trick consumers into buying GM salmon by making them think it’s natural salmon.

The trouble with this FDA hucksterism is that the people aren’t as stupid as the FDA thinks, and they aren’t going to be fooled by this genetically engineered salmon. That’s because the minute the FDA approves this Frankenfish, NaturalNews.com and a long list of other websites are going to alert the whole world to the simple truths of the matter:

Truth #1) Genetically engineered salmon is different from regular salmon.

Truth #2) The FDA is going out of its way to make sure GM salmon isn’t accurately labeled.

This is a Frankenfood cover-up, pure and simple, and the public is going to be outraged that the FDA would introduce a genetically engineered fish into the food supply without even requiring it to be accurately labeled!We’ll be watching this issue very closely, waiting for the FDA’s final decision. If the FDA decides to yet again betray the American public over this issue, we won’t be at all surprised. But we will be vigilant, and we will ask for your help to spread the word and take action to demand that genetically modified salmon be accurately labeled so that consumers know what they’re actually buying.

Gee, you would think the FDA might be interested in food labeling honesty. But of course, the more you learn about the FDA, the more you realize every decision the agency makes is a political decision that betrays the rights and safety of the American people.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to eat genetically modified salmon. And I don’t want the FDA shoving this down my throat by making me try to guess which salmon is real versus artificially engineered. This Frankenfood shell game must end!