Recirculating Farms Coalition Denounces FDA Approval of Genetically Modified Salmon for Human Consumption

Statement from Executive Director, Marianne Cufone

Nov 20, 2015, 16:21 ET from Recirculating Farms Coalition

NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 20, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- "On November 19, 2015, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first genetically modified (GM) animal, a salmon, for human consumption. It will not be labeled as such in stores because the FDA says ' it is nutritionally equivalent to conventional farm-raised Atlantic salmon'. This is problematic for consumers - they deserve to know that the fish they may be buying and eating is genetically modified, so they can make informed decisions."

"There are no meaningful long-term studies done on health effects from eating this fish, or the real risks involved if these salmon were to escape into the wild. Additionally, the main stated reason for approval is to strengthen farmed fish's economic viability — but the FDA has not done due diligence in exploring alternative options.‎"

"While the FDA echoes the company's contention that the engineered fish are sterile, 100 percent sterility is highly unlikely. ‎There is still risk the fish could unintentionally end up in the wild and intermix with wild salmon; these risks have not been well evaluated."

"FDA also failed to adequately explore safer methods for fish production. Aquaponics – raising fish in tanks connected to plant grow beds in a closed-loop recirculating system – can naturally achieve fast growth rates for fish, making genetic modification to artificially enhance growth unnecessary. These systems are also space, energy and water efficient - an all around win for our planet.‎"

"The company that created and will sell the salmon supplied the data FDA used to evaluate the fish's safety. That is in no way objective or rigorous. Why test GM technology on consumers when there are sustainable and more natural ways of achieving similar benefits claimed by the company?"

"Over 9,000 stores nationwide have already rejected the genetically engineered salmon. Seventy-five percent of people in a New York Times poll said they would not eat genetically engineered salmon, and 1.8 million people have sent letters to the FDA opposing the 'frankenfish.'"

"This decision represents nothing less than a wholesale pandering to corporate interests' bottom line, rather than public or environmental health. The FDA has failed in its duty to protect our people and our planet. We are very concerned that more GM animals will be approved."

Contact: Marianne Cufone: mcufone@recirculatingfarms,org, 813-785-8386

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SOURCE Recirculating Farms Coalition