10 Freakiest Things About Frankenfish

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

Read more10 Freakiest Things About Frankenfish

FDA Refuses to Require Labeling of GM Salmon

And the justification for that is that dumb Americans don’t need to know what they eat, or what?


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(NaturalNews) 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.

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.

Read moreFDA Refuses to Require Labeling of GM Salmon

GM Salmon Nears US Approval

US: GM Salmon May Go On Sale:

Among the considerations by the FDA is whether, if the fish is approved for consumption, it must be labelled as genetically engineered.


Consumer groups fear green light for engineered species will bring environmental disaster to the oceans

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A genetically modified salmon, rear, and a non-genetically modified salmon, foreground. Photograph: AP

Buried in a prospectus inviting investors to buy shares in a fledgling biotech company is an arresting claim attributed to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation.

“Commercial aquaculture is the most rapidly growing segment of the agricultural industry, accounting for more than $60bn sales in 2003. While land-based agriculture is increasing between 2% to 3% per year, aquaculture has been growing at an average rate of approximately 9% per year since 1970.”

Read moreGM Salmon Nears US Approval

Bolivia’s Biggest Ecological Disaster: Cold Kills Estimated 6 Millions And Thousands of Alligators, Turtles And River Dolphins

Antarctic cold snap kills millions of aquatic animals in the Amazon.

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The San Julián fish farm in the Santa Cruz department of Bolivia lost 15 tonnes of pacú fish in the extreme cold.Never Tejerina

With high Andean peaks and a humid tropical forest, Bolivia is a country of ecological extremes. But during the Southern Hemisphere’s recent winter, unusually low temperatures in part of the country’s tropical region hit freshwater species hard, killing an estimated 6 million fish and thousands of alligators, turtles and river dolphins.

Scientists who have visited the affected rivers say the event is the biggest ecological disaster Bolivia has known, and, as an example of a sudden climatic change wreaking havoc on wildlife, it is unprecedented in recorded history.

“There’s just a huge number of dead fish,” says Michel Jégu, a researcher from the Institute for Developmental Research in Marseilles, France, who is currently working at the Noel Kempff Mercado Natural History Museum in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. “In the rivers near Santa Cruz there’s about 1,000 dead fish for every 100 metres of river.”

With such extreme climatic events potentially becoming more common due to climate change, scientists are hurrying to coordinate research into the impact, and how quickly the ecosystem is likely to recover.

The extraordinary quantity of decomposing fish flesh has polluted the waters of the Grande, Pirai and Ichilo rivers to the extent that local authorities have had to provide alternative sources of drinking water for towns along the rivers’ banks. Many fishermen have lost their main source of income, having been banned from removing any more fish from populations that will probably struggle to recover.

The blame lies, at least indirectly, with a mass of Antarctic air that settled over the Southern Cone of South America for most of July. The prolonged cold snap has also been linked to the deaths of at least 550 penguins along the coasts of Brazil and thousands of cattle in Paraguay and Brazil, as well as hundreds of people in the region.

Water temperatures in Bolivian rivers that normally register about 15 ˚C during the day fell to as low as 4 ˚C.

Read moreBolivia’s Biggest Ecological Disaster: Cold Kills Estimated 6 Millions And Thousands of Alligators, Turtles And River Dolphins

US: GM Salmon May Go On Sale

Food and Drug administration begins 60-day process to approve animal critics call a ‘frankenfish’

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A genetically-modified AquAdvantage salmon, top, next to a control salmon of the same age. (AP)

US authorities today began the process to approve the first GM animal for human consumption.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a 60-day period of consultation and public meetings over whether to permit a GM strain of salmon to be eaten by humans, even though it has been called a “frankenfish” by critics. The approval process could take less than a year, and if it gets the green light the fish could be on the market in 18 months.

Environmentalists and scientists see the decision as marking a threshold. If it is approved it is likely to open the door to a large range of GM animals being raised for consumption. If not, scientists say that will have a negative effect on research, in part because there will be no money to be made from it.

Among the considerations by the FDA is whether, if the fish is approved for consumption, it must be labelled as genetically engineered.

GMO Alert: US Attempting Global Censorship of GMO Food Labeling

The AquAdvantage salmon – a modified North Atlantic salmon – has been created by AquaBounty Technologies in Boston, Massachusetts, over 14 years at a cost of $50m. The company says the salmon grows at twice the speed of similar fish, cutting costs for farmers and greatly increasing production.

Read moreUS: GM Salmon May Go On Sale

US: Radioactive fish near Vermont nuklear power plant deemed common

Radioactive Fish
In this May 29, 2010 photo, Shawn Cole, 12, of Hinsdale, N.H., left, and Peter Rosploch, 11, of Winchester, N.H. fish in the Connecticut River across from the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. When a fish taken from the Connecticut River recently tested positive for radioactive strontium-90, suspicion focused on the nearby Vermont Yankee nuclear plant as the likely source. Operators of the troubled 38-year-old nuclear plant on the banks of the river, where work is under way to clean up leaking radioactive tritium, revealed this month that it also found soil contaminated with strontium-90, an isotope linked to bone cancer and leukemia. (AP Photo)

MONTPELIER, Vt. — When a fish taken from the Connecticut River recently tested positive for radioactive strontium-90, suspicion focused on the nearby Vermont Yankee nuclear plant as the likely source.

Operators of the troubled 38-year-old nuclear plant on the banks of the river, where work is under way to clean up leaking radioactive tritium, revealed this month that it also found soil contaminated with strontium-90, an isotope linked to bone cancer and leukemia.

Three days later, officials said a fish caught four miles upstream from the reactor in February had tested positive for strontium-90 in its bones. State officials say they don’t believe the contamination came from Vermont Yankee.

Tritium was reported leaking from the plant in January, and since then has turned up in monitoring wells at levels 100 times the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s safety limit for that substance in drinking water. Other radioactive isotopes have been found as well, including cesium-137, zinc-65 and cobalt-60.

Read moreUS: Radioactive fish near Vermont nuklear power plant deemed common

Washington: ‘Toxic stew’ of chemicals causes more than 80% of male fish to exhibit female traits

See also: US: Gender-Bending Chemical Atrazine Contaminates Public Water Supply (Chicago Tribune)


Intersex fish, found across the US, result from a mix of drugs that mimic natural hormones, say scientists

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US male bass fish are showing female traits such as egg production because of ‘toxic stew’ of chemicals in water. Photograph: Rob Heimplaetzer/Potomac Conservancy

More than 80% of the male bass fish in Washington’s major river are now exhibiting female traits such as egg production because of a “toxic stew” of pollutants, scientists and campaigners reported yesterday.

Intersex fish probably result from drugs, such as the contraceptive pill, and other chemicals being flushed into the water and have been found right across the US.

The Potomac Conservancy, which focuses on Washington DC’s river, called for new research to determine what was causing male smallmouth bass to carry immature eggs in their testes. “We have not been able to identify one particular chemical or one particular source,” said Vicki Blazer, a fish biologist with the US geological survey. “We are still trying to get a handle on what chemicals are important.”

But she said early evidence pointed to a mix of chemicals – commonly used at home as well as those used in large-scale farming operations – causing the deformities. The suspect chemicals mimic natural hormones and disrupt the endocrine system, with young fish being particularly susceptible.

The chemicals could include birth control pills and other drugs, toiletries especially those with fragrances, products such as tissues treated with antibacterial agents, or goods treated with flame retardants that find their way into waste water. However, Blazer also pointed to runoff from fertilisers and pesticides from agricultural areas.

About 5 million people live in the greater Washington area, and 90% of them get their drinking water from the Potomac.

Read moreWashington: ‘Toxic stew’ of chemicals causes more than 80% of male fish to exhibit female traits

Study: 100 Percent of Fish in US Streams Contaminated with Mercury

(NaturalNews) In a new study conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), every single fish tested from 291 freshwater streams across the United States was found to be contaminated with mercury.

“This study shows just how widespread mercury pollution has become in our air, watersheds and many of our fish in freshwater streams,” said Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.

Mercury is a potent neurotoxin that builds up in the food chain at ever higher concentrations in predators such as large fish and humans. It is especially damaging to the developing nervous systems of fetuses and children, but can have severe effects on adults, as well. The pollutant enters the environment almost wholly as atmospheric emissions from industrial processes, primarily the burning of coal for electricity. It then spreads across the plant and settles back to the surface, eventually concentrating in rivers, lakes and oceans, where it enters the aquatic food chain.

The number one cause of human mercury poisoning in the United States is the consumption of fish and shellfish.

Read moreStudy: 100 Percent of Fish in US Streams Contaminated with Mercury

Deep freeze kills millions of fish in Florida

See also: Florida Freeze Destroys Estimated 70% of Southwest Vegetable Crop


A deep freeze in the shallow waters of Florida Bay and Everglades took a heavy toll on snook and other native fish.

Everywhere he steered his skiff last week, Pete Frezza saw dead fish.

From Ponce de Leon Bay on the Southwest Coast down across Florida Bay to Lower Matecumbe in the Florida Keys — day after day, dead fish. Floating in the marina at Flamingo in Everglades National Park alone he counted more than 400 snook and 400 tarpon.

“I was so shook up, I couldn’t sleep,” said Frezza, an ecologist for Audubon of Florida and an expert flats fisherman. “Millions and millions of pilchards, threadfin herring, mullet. Ladyfish took it really bad. Whitewater Bay is just a graveyard.”

Fish in every part of the state were hammered by this month’s record-setting cold snap. The toll in South Florida, a haven for warm-water species, was particularly extensive, too large to even venture a guess at numbers. And despite the subsequent warm-up, scientists warn that the big bad chill of 2010 will continue to claim victims for weeks.

“Based on what I saw in 1977 and 1989, there is a good chance we’ll have a second wave,” said William Loftus, a longtime aquatic ecologist for Everglades National Park.

During those last two major cold fronts, weakened survivors succumbed to infections from common bacteria, such as aeromonas, that they would normally ward off, he said.

“It’s a nasty-looking thing,” he said. “It’s a tissue eater. It creates open ulcers on the side of the fish.”

In response, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on Friday ordered an emergency statewide closure of the snook fishery until at least September, and imposed temporary closures for bonefish and tarpon until April. Catch-and-release is still allowed for all three species.

Veteran Everglades fishing guide Benny Blanco believes the die-off was so severe — particularly for snook, a prized game and eating fish particularly sensitive to cold — that he would support taking them off the dinner table for years.

“I haven’t see a swimming snook in 10 days,” Blanco said Monday, after returning from a charter trip to the Glades. “All I have seen is floating snook.”

Read moreDeep freeze kills millions of fish in Florida

Chinook Salmon Vanish Without a Trace

SACRAMENTO – Where did they go?

The Chinook salmon that swim upstream to spawn in the fall, the most robust run in the Sacramento River, have disappeared. The almost complete collapse of the richest and most dependable source of Chinook salmon south of Alaska left gloomy fisheries experts struggling for reliable explanations – and coming up dry.

Whatever the cause, there was widespread agreement among those attending a five-day meeting of the Pacific Fisheries Management Council here last week that the regional $150 million fishery, which usually opens for the four-month season on May 1, is almost certain to remain closed this year from northern Oregon to the Mexican border. A final decision on salmon fishing in the area is expected next month.

As a result, Chinook, or king salmon, the most prized species of Pacific wild salmon, will be hard to come by until the Alaskan season opens in July. Even then, wild Chinook are likely to be very expensive in markets and restaurants nationwide.

Read moreChinook Salmon Vanish Without a Trace