The Center for Food Safety has released information about a risk assessment conducted in Canada that finds GMO salmon are susceptible to disease. The environmental review of AquaBounty Technologies’ GE salmon reveals that the Canadian government disagrees with the FDA on key questions about the safety and performance of the salmon.
Food & Water Watch, Center for Food Safety, Friends of the Earth, and Consumers Union are calling on the FDA to terminate its ongoing review of GE salmon. The risk assessment finds that GE salmon are more susceptible to a type of disease-causing bacteria than non-GE domesticated salmon. That indicates that the fish will have unique health problems. It also raises concerns about the public health that the FDA has not considered.
The report also states that GE salmon are “exhibiting dramatically diminished growth rates in AquaBounty’s commercial facilities.” This raises questions and doubt on the disputed claims about the accelerated growth rates of this salmon.
And finally, GE salmon are showing widely varied performance, indicating that the growth-hormone gene put into the fish is not operating in a predictable manner. That raises questions about the safety, commercial viability, and durability of the salmon.
Jaydee Hanson, Senior Policy Analyst at the Center for Food Safety said, “The modus operandi at FDA is to rubber stamp AquaBounty’s flawed and biased studies and then call its review process ‘science-based’. FDA’s inadequate risk assessment is at odds with reality, with science, and with the pubic, which has long called on the agency to put consumers’ heath and environmental safety ahead of the corporate interests of the biotechnology industry.”
The only benefit claim that AquaBounty has submitted to the FDA is fast growth. This is now called into question, considering that sources have found that “GE salmon probably grow slower than the highly domesticated Atlantic salmon currently in commercial production.”
Major grocery store chains have stated they will not carry this product, which does not have to be labeled so consumers know what they are buying. And the commercial salmon industry has long disputed AquaBounty’s claims that GE salmon can reach market weight in half the time as conventional salmon.