This article was written by the Organic Consumers Association’s Political Director, Alexis Baden-Mayer. To take action to stop Frankenfish, please click here.
10. Frankenfish Aren’t Animals, They’re “Animal Drugs”
Obama’s FDA is regulating genetically engineered salmon, a genetically modified organism (GMO) that is the first of its kind, not as an animal, but as an animal drug. Normally, a veterinary drug would be used for health purposes, but there’s no therapeutic benefit associated with jacking up an Atlantic salmon with the genes of a Chinook salmon and the eel-like ocean pout to make it grow twice as fast. On the contrary, genetic engineering increases the salmon’s mortality, disease and deformity. So, why would the FDA treat a the first genetically engineered animal for human consumption like a drug? The idea came from the biotech industry. They knew that the FDA’s animal drug process would keep companies’ “proprietary” information secret, while limiting public participation and downplaying food safety concerns. Genius.
9. The GMO Part of the GMO Salmon Isn’t Being Safety Tested
Since 1992, the FDA has operated under the legal fiction created by the Bush-Quayle Administration that there is no risk associated with the human consumption of genetically engineered plants and animals. The FDA explains that DNA is Generally Recognized as Safe, so genetically engineered DNA is safe, too, and it doesn’t have to be safety tested. Source: FDA’s Statement of Policy – Foods Derived from New Plant Varieties (PDF)
8. Frankenfish DNA Could Change the Bacteria of Your Gut
A human study conducted by the UK’s Food Standards Agency found that consuming genetically engineered soy can result in “horizontal gene transfer,” where the bacteria of the gut takes up the soy’s modified DNA. With GMO salmon, the bacteria of our digestive tracks could take up the engineered salmon genes, but the FDA isn’t looking into whether this would happen or how it might effect our health.
7. If It Swims Like a Salmon, FDA Says It’s Safe to Eat
Instead of reviewing the safety of consuming genetically engineered salmon DNA, the FDA food safety review is a simple quacks-like-a-duck-style comparison of genetically engineered and normal salmon for hormone levels, nutrition, and allergenic potency.
6. FDA Lets the Frankenfish Company Test Its Own Product’s Safety