Originally published December 29 2012
FDA secretly legalizes GM salmon during holidays while nobody was watching
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) Once the bastion of purity, seafood has now entered the realm of "manufactured" sustenance, thanks to a couple of U.S. government bureaucracies.
The Food and Drug Administration has granted permission to a firm that will allow it to produce GM salmon, a decision that has been called a genetically modified food "breakthrough" by breathless journalists who obviously don't understand the gravity of what has just occurred.
According to Britain's Independent newspaper, the FDA's decision means the salmon - which reportedly grow twice as fast as ordinary fish - "could become the first genetically-modified animal in the world to be declared officially safe to eat."
In reaching its decision FDA officials said they couldn't find any valid scientific reasons to ban production of GM Atlantic salmon, which are engineered using extra genes from two other species of fish - the Pacific Chinook salmon and an eel-like species called the ocean pout.
A 'perfect storm' of deceit regarding GM foods
The agency's decision clears the last legal hurdle that stood in the way of GM fish production; reports said the FDA's decision is liable to put renewed pressure on producers of salmon in Britain and throughout Europe to follow its lead.
As in the past, government scientists - inside the U.S., the United Kingdom and elsewhere - have bought off on the notion of genetically modified foods as a way of increasing the world's food supply in general; consumers, however, have always taken a much more cautious approach (as they should).
Misguided supporters of GM fish think the newly created salmon will make it easier and cheaper to produce on salmon farms, but they are also buying into the notion that manufacturing GM fish will be better for the environment because they can also be grown on land-based farms.
A couple years ago Sir John Beddington, Britain's current chief scientist, warned there would be a "perfect storm" of a swelling global population combined with climate change and food shortages, making it "very hard to see how it would be remotely sensible to justify not using new technologies such as GM."
Those "warnings" have become typical of GM proponents - scare tactics aimed at forcing acceptance of a "science" that enriches the companies managing it at the expense of the people they are allegedly trying to serve.
Opponents of GM fish have it right: They argue that introducing such fast-growing salmon creates unacceptable risks to human health and the environment; they also know that permitting genetically modified fish to be produced will likely lead to more GM animal production, which could eventually destroy entire food chains.
Before issuing its decision, the FDA had already said the salmon was fit for human consumption, but in a draft environmental assessment published recently but written in May, the agency went a step further, "declaring that the production of the GM fish is unlikely to have any detrimental impact on the wider environment," the paper said.
Opponents disagree. Dubbing the GM salmon "Frankenfish," they warn that the modified species could at some point escape into the wild then interbreed with wild fish, thereby undermining the genetics of certain species, especially the endangered Atlantic salmon, known as the "king of fishes" grown on fish farms in the UK.
It's a biotech food world
AquaBounty Technologies of Maynard, Mass., which has developed the AquAdvantage salmon, has downplayed any such threat, saying they will be only be grown as sterile females and kept in secure, land-based containers.
The FDA concurred the risk is negligible, saying such an occurrence would be "extremely remote" at best.
"[The] FDA has made the preliminary determination it is reasonable to believe that approval of the AquAdvantage salmon NADA [New Animal Drug Application] will not have any significant impacts on the quality of the human environment of the United States (including populations of endangered Atlantic salmon) when produced and grown under the conditions of use for the proposed action," said the FDA assessment.
It sounds like it is just a matter of time before we can add GM fish to the growing list of modified foods that already exist around the world.
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