Target: President Obama
Goal: Revoke recent approval of GMO Salmon, aka ‘Frankenfish.’
Despite public outcry and insufficient tests, the FDA has just recently approved the sale and consumption of GMO salmon. Nicknamed “frankenfish” by an outraged public, this salmon poses many risks to the unknown and unwilling consumers, as well as the already threatened salmon population. This will be the first GMO animal ever to enter our food system.
Designed by AquaBounty Technologies, this GMO salmon’s ability to grow twice as fast as wild or farm-raised salmon has great appeal to some. However, the consumption of these genetically modified creatures still poses a great health risk. Much of the risk comes from the fact that we just don’t know how the salmon will affect us, because the FDA and AquaBounty has neglected to perform sufficient studies on the GMO Salmon. “The review process by FDA was inadequate, failed to fully examine the likely impacts of the salmon’s introduction, and lacked a comprehensive analysis,” says executive director of Center for Food Safety, Andrew Kimbrell. “This decision sets a dangerous precedent, lowering the standards of safety in this country. CFS will hold FDA to their obligations to the American people.” The few studies that have been conducted, however, do show a dramatic increase of hormone levels and allergens in GMO salmon.
Despite assurances from the FDA and AquaBounty that the salmon is safe to eat, many people are outraged by such scant studies, many of which were actively hidden from the public. Even if the fish were relatively safe to eat, “People do not want to eat this fish,” Dana Perls, of Friends of Earth, says. “And it’s becoming more and more clear that the majority of consumers won’t eat the GMO fish, even if it is available.” Unfortunately, the GMO salmon will be unlabeled, so consumers won’t even be able to tell if they are buying this ‘frankenfish’.
As if the threat to public health isn’t enough, the dangers of interbreeding and competing with wild salmon are significant. AquaBounty Technologies assures that the fish they design are sterile and will be contained on land; that it is “virtually impossible” for the fish to escape (Dave Conley, AquaBounty Director of Corporate Communications). However, that AquaBounty acknowledges the possibility of escape is unsettling. If the fish are able to escape and are introduced into the ecosystem of their wild and smaller relatives, the effects could be disastrous. Salmon survival is difficult enough as it is, and the introduction of giant and infertile salmon could mean the extinction for smaller wild salmon.
By signing this petition, you are not only asking that this untested GMO salmon be removed from food industries, but you are also making a stand for transparent policies. We cannot allow the FDA to gamble with our health by conducting only a few studies, hiding results from the public, and ignoring our protests. We cannot allow the FDA to trick us into consuming this fish by making it unlabeled. We cannot let the FDA risk the already unstable wild salmon ecosystem.
Dear President Obama,
As you may know, the FDA has recently approved a highly controversial measure allowing GMO salmon to be introduced into our food system. Despite public protest, despite an alarmingly insufficient number of studies, the FDA is allowing unlabeled GMO salmon into our grocery stores and food systems.
We urge you not to let the FDA gamble with our health. Revoke this decision and help us show the FDA that we will not allow them to ignore our protestations, trick us with insufficient studies, manipulate us into purchasing GMO salmon by allowing it to remain unlabeled, or threaten already strained salmon populations.
Photo Credit: Arthur Morris