October 24, 2016

FDA Approves AquaBounty GE Salmon

Genetically engineered salmon created by AquaBounty Technologies, Inc. has been given market approval by the U.S.  Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The agency is seeking comment on labeling guidance documents for companies that make and sell food items containing the genetically engineered product. AquaBounty says that because the U.S. currently imports over 95 percent of the Atlantic salmon it consumes,  AquAdvantage Salmon offers a new domestic alternative. The salmon, AquAdvantage Salmon, has been genetically enhanced to reach market size in less time than natural salmon. The company says using land-based aquaculture systems to produce the fish is an environmentally friendly way to produce food without damaging the ocean. But the green track record isn't perfect. Last year, the … [Read more...]

Food & Water Watch Wants SEC To Reject GMO Salmon Stock Filings

Food & Water Watch has called on the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) to reject the stock registration filings of AquaBounty Technologies (ABTX), the maker of genetically engineered salmon, based on "misleading and erroneous claims the company is making in its attempt to join the NASDAQ stock exchange." The letter asks the SEC to make AquaBounty revise their document, since new scientific evidence allegedly shows GMO salmon do not grow as quickly as AquaBounty claims, and that the fish experience unique diseases. The letter was sent to Sean McKessy, Chief of the Office of the Whistleblower at the SEC. It claims that "omissions, errors, and false statements [were] found in Form 10 regulatory findings submitted to the SEC by AquaBounty Technologies." Wenonah Hauter, executive … [Read more...]

Canadian Risk Assessment Finds GMO Salmon Disease Susceptible

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 … [Read more...]

AquaBounty Fined for Violations on GE Salmon

Officials in Panama have fined AquaBounty Technologies $9,500, stating the facility is operating in violation of environmental regulations as it experiments with genetically engineered (GE) salmon.  Food safety advocates such as Center for Food Safety and Friends of the Earth have ask the FDA to terminate its regulatory review of AquaBounty's facility and deny the company's application to sell the engineered fish in the U.S. Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch said, "FDA has always assured the public that it is checking, monitoring, and regulating AquaBounty's production platform to ensure the company can mitigate the well-documented environmental impacts of escaped GE salmon. We now know that AquaBounty is unwilling or unable to follow basic rules and … [Read more...]

Food & Water Watch Prods SEC About Aquabounty Risks

Food & Water Watch is asking the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) to make AquaBounty Technologies, the producer of genetically engineered salmon, tell investors about the risks of its product. Aquabounty's SEC filing "misrepresents the market barriers, regulatory hurdles, and financial prospects facing its sole product, GE salmon," according to the agency. Executive Director Wenonah Hauter said in a statement, "the SEC needs to ensure that investors are able to distinguish between what AquaBounty says in its disclosures and the facts on the ground. Aquabounty's SEC filing confirms a long history of misrepresentation and missing transparency. Even the FDA was recently compelled to rein in AquaBounty for falsely stating that FDA will not require GE salmon to be … [Read more...]

Senate Amendment Requires Mandatory Labeling of GE Salmon

An amendment to the FY 2015 Agriculture Appropriations bill introduced passed in the Senate Appropriations Committee last week. It would require labeling of genetically engineered (GE) salmon. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) is the originator of the amendment, and Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) is the sponsor. This is the second year the Committee has passed a GE fish labeling amendment. Colin O'Neil, director of government affairs for Center for Food Safety said in a statement, "the food movement scored another major win today with the passage of Senator Murkowski's amendment to require the labeling of genetically engineered salmon. While some Members of Congress are peddling corporate-backed legislation to keep consumers in the dark, today's vote is an indicator that support for labeling is … [Read more...]

FDA Asked to Monitor False Industry Claims About GMO Salmon

Food & Water Watch and Center for Food Safety asked FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg to stop erroneous statements by AquaBounty Technologies. The company's vice present Henry Clifford told the press that the government will let the company sell its GMO salmon without a label to inform consumers. Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch said in a statement, "FDA's failure to take action on AquaBounty's blatant misrepresentation of the facts typifies the agency's entire hands-off regulatory review of GMO salmon. It also illustrates the dangerous level of miscommunication between FDA and AquaBounty that, historically, has caused the agency to overlook critical risks associated with GMO salmon." Environmental experts are concerned that the genetically engineered … [Read more...]

Kroger, Safeway Pledge No Genetically Engineered Salmon

Kroger and Safeway, two of the nation's largest grocery store chains, have joined the growing list of companies pledging not to carry genetically engineered (GE) salmon if it receives approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), according to consumer group Friends of the Earth.  Kroger, with almost 2,500 stores nationwide, and Safeway, which operates almost 1,500 stores, push the total number of grocery stores saying no to GE salmon to 9,000. “By making commitments to not sell genetically engineered salmon, Kroger and Safeway have joined the large number of grocery chains, from Trader Joe’s to Target, that have wisely chosen to listen to the majority of consumers who do not want to eat genetically engineered fish,” said Dana Perls, food and technology policy campaigner … [Read more...]

Problems with AquaBounty GE Salmon Facility in Panama

Food & Water Watch is reporting on problems with AquaBounty's experimental production facility of genetically engineered (GE) salmon in Panama. AquaBounty is the company that wants FDA approval of its salmon that grows faster than normal.  The company is missing legally required permits and inspections, most critically a missing permit for wastewater. In addition, the company has reported "lost" GE salmon after severe weather in Panama. The area around the AquaBounty facility experiences routine flooding and bad weather. Consumer and food safety advocates are concerned that these fish can escape the farms and enter the wild, where they will breed with wild salmon and change their DNA. Food & Water Watch, along with the Center for Food Safety, Friends of the Earth, and GeneWatch … [Read more...]

Target Joins List of Retailers Saying No To GE Salmon

Target has joined the list of retailers pledging to keep genetically engineered (GE) salmon out of their stores if the GE fish is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA will likely not requie labeling of genetically engineered salmon, if it's approved, leaving  consumers with no way of knowing if the fish they are buying is natural engineered. During the comment period on GE salmon, more than 1.5 million people submitted comments to the FDA opposing the approval of what would be the first-ever GE animal approved for human consumption. To help consumers, a coalition of 30 groups including Friends of the Earth, the Center for Food Safety, Food & Water Watch, and Consumers Union; have asked  grocery stores, seafood restaurants, chefs, and seafood companies to … [Read more...]

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