Posted by Dave on September 13, 2010
Massive mutant GMO salmon, genetically engineered to grow twice as fast as wild salmon, are coming to a table near you if you don’t act today.
On September 3rd, a panel of three Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials declared that genetically modified salmon were “safe” for human consumption.  Somehow, the elite FDA panel arrived at this "decision" based on “scientific research” provided by AquaBounty Technologies, the same company that stands to profit from introducing its patented genes onto our plates.
With the potential approval of GMO salmon, Americans are now entering an alarming new era of genetic experimentation with food animals, nature and the human population. Already the scientific community is warning against the real risk that these unnaturally engineered fish pose to wild species, the environment and human health.
Act today to stop the FDA from allowing this disaster to happen! Click here to automatically sign your name to the petition demanding that the FDA halt approval of GMO salmon.
Known as “macro-mutants”, AquaBounty’s GMO salmon are designed to ignore natural cycles of food sources and wild fish mating patterns that have existed for eons. 
While AquaBounty's GMO salmon are only days away from being approved, the FDA has only seen scientific studies provided by the company that stands to profit from these patented genes. Since AquaBounty's GMO salmon are being regulated under the FDA's new animal drug provision, real independent scientific studies were not required. 
If history and the law of unintended consequences has taught us anything, the FDA’s approval of transgenic GMO mutant fish will be a disaster. For years independent scientists have been warning us about the dangers posed by these GMO salmon.
Once again, corporations and our government are trying to place profits over people. Act today to stop the FDA from allowing this disaster to happen! Click here to automatically sign your name to the petition demanding that the FDA halt approval of GMO salmon.
What will these GMO salmon do to the environment?
One key problem with AquaBounty’s current business model is that they intend to sell the patented GMO salmon eggs to giant aquatic fish “farms” and not raise the fish themselves.  By becoming the Monsanto of aquaculture in simply selling the seed stock, AquaBounty solves a key infrastructure problem, but opens the door to mismanagement of its product and potential extinction of wild species. While the FDA states that the patented GMO salmon will be raised on inland fish farm facilities, there is no guarantee that the sold eggs might not accidentally end up in open-water ocean net pens or accidentally be spilled during transport.
If this happens, it could spell disaster. Even more alarming is the fact that, according to the Environmental Assessment that AquaBounty submitted to the FDA, these GMO salmon eggs are to be hatched in a facility on Prince Edward Island in Canada and raised at an inland facility in Panama!  That's right, designed in Canada, raised in Panama, and ready for your plate here in America. Something smells fishy about this arrangement.
If GMO salmon escape into the wild, scientists warn that just 60 GMO salmon released into a population of 60,000 could lead to the extinction of the wild population in just 40 fish generations.  With wild Atlantic salmon already on the list of endangered species, the approval of AquaBounty’s patented GMO mutant fish may very well be a death sentence for wild salmon. One has to ask, what profit could possibly be worth such an outcome?
How will GMO salmon impact human health?
Because independent scientific studies of AquaBounty’s patented salmon have not been allowed, the human health impacts of GMO salmon are not currently known. Shockingly, the FDA is relying on scant scientific documents provided by AquaBounty itself. In fact, the FDA’s own assessment AquaBounty’s studies to determine whether GMO salmon are safe for human consumption states that the studies contain “technical flaws” and provide “insufficient data”.
For two of the studies submitted, AquaBounty used sample sizes so small that they have no scientific credibility, with only 12 fish tested for one study, while the study on possible allergic reactions in humans involved only "6 fertile fish and 6 infertile fish.”  Despite this scant evidence, the FDA is currently on the verge of approving the companies GMO salmon.
Serious questions remain about eating fish engineered to grow faster and how that genetically manipulated trait can impact human health, especially that of our most vulnerable populations such as pregnant mothers and children.
Act today to stand up for human health, food safety and the environment. Click here to automatically sign your name to a letter that tells the FDA that there are consequences to meddling with nature.
Thank you for participating in food democracy!
- Dave, Lisa and The Food Democracy Now Team
1. “Aqua Bounty Biotech Salmon OK to Eat-FDA Staff,” Lisa Richwine, Reuters, September 3, 2010.
2. “Methods to Assess Ecological Risks of Transgenic Fish Releases", William M Muir and Richard D Howard, Genetically Engineered Organisms, Chapter 13, CRC Press 2002.
3. "GE Animals Regulated Under New Animal Drug Provisions", FDA.gov website, FDA Releases Final Guidance on Genetically Engineered Animals, January 15, 2009.
4. "Modified Salmon is Safe, FDA Says", Andrew Pollack, The New York Times, September 3, 2010
5. "Enviornmental Assessment for AquAdvantage Salmon", provided to FDA by Aqua Bounty Technologies Inc., FDA.gov website
6. “Mutant Salmon Coming to a Kitchen Table Near You”, Ariel Schwartz, Fast Company, July 12, 2010
7. “Would You Eat Genetically Altered Salmon?”, Deniza Gertsberg, AlterNet.com, September 11, 2010