January 19, 2018

Documents Show Aquabounty’s Management Problems

Food & Water Watch and Center for Food Safety have again asked the FDA to deny AquaBounty Technologies’ application for genetically engineered salmon. New evidence from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission shows that the company previously handed over responsibility for most safety at its Panamanian facility – including regulatory compliance – to an independent contractor.

SalmonIn 2013, the company handed over management of its facility in Panama to an independent grower who died this summer, leaving the facility in a “precarious state” according to FOod & Water WAtch. Executive Director Wenonah Hauter said in a statement, “at times, even AquaBounty doesn’t seem to know what’s happening in Panama. The horrendous environmental record of AquaBounty, which includes a security lapse that led to ‘lost’ salmon in Panama and regulatory violations related to environmental safety, are a predictable consequence of the company’s cavalier approach to raising this risky fish.”

AquaBounty apparently handed over most management responsibilities in 2013 to a company about whom little is known. George Kimbrell, senior attorney for Center for Food Safety, said in a statement, “AquaBounty has not been able to follow the law because it lacks the capacity, sophistication, will, or all of the above. FDA is dangerously out of touch with the company’s evolving production platform, advancing AquaBounty’s application based on its promises, not reality.”

If approved, AquaBounty’s salmon would be the first genetically engineered animal to be allowed into the food supply anywhere in the world. If the salmon escape and enter the wild, it could affect wild salmon populations and change them forever. AquaBounty was fined in October 2014 for “repeated environmental violations” at that facility in Panama. The company admitted fault and paid the fine of $9,000.

 

 

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