June 15, 2024

FDA Weakens Public Process on GMO Animals

Food & Water Watch is criticizing the FDA for weakening the public process on approval of GMO animals. The agency is disbanding the Veterinary Medicine Advisory Committee (VMAC), which peer reviews FDA’s risk analysis of genetically modified animals. The scientists on that committee were very critical of AquaBounty’s GMO salmon, telling the FDA there was not sufficiency science to demonstrate animal safety.

SalmonThe government claims that the review process is too costly. But Food & Water Watch filed a records request and discovered that the agency spent zero dollars in 2013 maintaining the committee, which included all administrative and labor costs. The FDA is close to approving the GMO salmon, despite many problems with growing facilities and opposition from consumer and food safety groups.

In February 2014, congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D-NY) asked the FDA to reinstate the committee. She states that VMAC plays an important role as “impartial and expert advisors on complex scientific issues.” In addition, VMAC “allowed for a public forum on the important and controversial regulatory issue of GE animal approval,” the letter states. Industry also wants to move forward with genetically modified carp and pigs.

The FDA states that “VMAC is no longer necessary because of other opportunities for input.”


  1. Carol, what you believe in is false to some degree. The majority of the ‘voting’ public has shown to not be against GMOs, or at least the labeling of such foods in California and a few other states. You speak of ‘big money’ being so powerful, but what you don’t understand is aquabounty technologies is actually a small company that has managed to barely stay afloat for the past 17 years as the FDA has been reviewing their technology. Lobbying has been an issue, not to promote GMOs, but to twist science and create confusion for the public. Many claims about GMOs are refuted by scientists globally. I feel it is important for the governments to review these technologies before they are made available, assuring safety for the consumers. But at the same time, it is important for the public to be supportive of the decisions made, especially since there has not yet been one recall of all approved GMOs.

    • Linda Larsen says

      That’s not what people are upset about. There is no “twisted science” on the part of GMO opponents. Instead, there is secrecy and denial of science by Monsanto and other companies who stand to make billions if these products are approved. The only tests conducted on these products have been done by the companies themselves. In fact, Monsanto refuses to sell their GMO seeds to any scientists who do want to conduct tests. And all of the tests conducted by Monsanto for “safety” ended at three months, which is not long enough to test for the problems these products may cause, especially cancer. In addition, GMO crops that are resistant to compounds such as Roundup have caused a huge increase in the pesticides and herbicides needed to control the superweeds that develop resistance to those chemicals. That alone is a huge concern, since pesticides and herbicides do cause cancer.

      The health issues that may be caused by genetic engineering take years, if not decades, to develop. The fact that there hasn’t been a recall means nothing. Recalls are primarily for mislabeled foods and foods contaminated with pathogenic bacteria and foreign materials that have an immediate impact. There has not been one rigorous, long-term, peer-reviewed independent study conducted that has proven that GMO foods are safe for human beings.

  2. It has been obvious for some time, that the FDA does not work for the American people. They work for and pander to industries that they are ‘supposed’ to regulate. The people have no federal agencies looking our for our health and safety.

  3. Please listen. I truly believe that the majority of the public is against gmo in any form. Do not do this to the salmon. And just as bad, you are not even going to give us the choice to opt out. This is just criminal. Total control, we don’t even get a vote. Big money, once again, has all the power. What has happened to my America? Lobbying (corruption) says it all.

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