Thanks to the FDA, Salmon lovers will soon be unwitting test subjects all across America. Notwithstanding the documented hazards of GM corn and soy, the FDA is on the threshold of allowing AquaBounty Technologies to sell salmon implanted with the genetic material from an eel-like species called ocean pout — a fish with antifreeze proteins in its blood. The goal is to force their new FrankenSalmon to grow to market size in 16 to 18 months instead of three years.
AquaBounty, based in Massachusetts, said the FDA, the federal organization famous for doing absolutely nothing to protect the public from predatory corporations, had signed off on five of the seven sets of data required to demonstrate that the fish was safe for consumption and for the environment. It may take two or three years after approval for the salmon to reach supermarkets.
Not only is no research available to determine the effects of GM salmon consumption on humans, many are concerned that the GM altered fish is a potential threat to ordinary salmon if it is ever allowed to enter the wild.
Lord Melchett, policy director at the Soil Association, said the new technology is not worth the risk. “Once you have bombarded an animal with other genes, the DNA is unstable, and there is no guarantee these fish remain sterile. It poses far too great a risk to wild salmon. A fish that grows that quickly is likely to lose some of its environmental benefits. There is no such thing as a free salmon lunch and we will pay the price,” he said.
The FDA regulates genetically engineered animals as if they were veterinary drugs and use the same rules — applications for approval are kept confidential.
“There is no opportunity for anyone from the outside to see the data or criticize it,” said Margaret Mellon, director of the food and environment program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. The NYTimes notes that when consumer groups were invited to discuss biotechnology policy with top F.D.A. officials last month, Ms. Mellon said she warned the officials that approval of the salmon would generate “a firestorm of negative response.”
And rest assured, when the FDA approves this new AquAdvantage genetically engineered salmon, they have no plans on labeling it as GM salmon. The consumers the FDA was created to protect, will not be afforded a choice. As you may have guessed, the FDA opposes mandatory labeling of foods from genetically engineered crops and animals at the behest of the corporate kings they dutifully serve.
Consumers are now beginning to learn of the health risks associated with GM foods. In a study expected to be published in July, a Russian biologist determined third generation hamsters fed genetically modified soy were unable to produce offspring.
And in a study released by the International Journal of Biological Sciences, researchers found that three varieties of GMO corn are linked to organ damage in rats. These GM corns can be found in products such as animal feed, corn syrup, and thousands of products found in the grocery store.
The researchers concluded these three GMOs are too dangerous to be distributed commercially because the kidneys and liver in rats displayed toxicity levels when exposed to all three GM corn varieties.