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NEWS: CBAN, Council oppose Enviropig, GE salmon

The London Free Press reports, “Guelph researchers, using fragments of genetic material from mice injected into fertilized pig embryos, found they could alter the output of the salivary glands of their experimental hogs so they excreted less phosphorous in the manure, reducing their impact on the environment. Enviropig was born. …The researchers (then) submitted their data to the US Food and Drug Administration and the Canadian government four years ago. It is still being evaluated. …If it wins the required regulatory approval in Canada and United States, Enviropig, …could be on its way to a dinner plate near you.” “Enviropig is on the enemy list of the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, a coalition of 18 groups that includes the Council of Canadians, Greenpeace Canada, USC Canada and Canadian Organic Growers.” In a March 2010 campaign blog, we noted that the pigs have been genetically engineered so that they produce manure that is 30-65 percent lower in phosphorous. Phosphorous is a major pollutant in the waterways and rural rivers of southern Ontario and Quebec. It is argued that these genetically-engineered pigs will reduce the pollution of groundwater by intensive livestock operations. There is no acknowledgement that the high-intensity, large-scale hog production of the ILOs is itself the problem. Cathy Holtslander of Saskatchewan-based Beyond Factory says, “The problem isn’t with the pigs. The problem of hog operations polluting the water has to do with the whole industrialization scale that has been developed to raise hogs.” 

The newspaper also says if the Enviropig is approved, “It would be an historic event – the first genetically engineered animal that could be sold in the grocery store. …(But) Enviropig is actually in a race for that title with a fish – a genetically engineered Atlantic salmon that has DNA from a Chinook salmon and a pout fish. The result is a salmon that grows twice as fast as other farmed Atlantic salmon.” The Council of Canadians, and in particular its vice-chair Leo Broderick, has opposed AquaBounty’s plans to produce its GE salmon eggs at Bay Fortune on Prince Edward Island. Broderick travelled to Maryland in September 2010 to attend US Food and Drug Administration hearings where dozens of US groups testified about the problems with the GE salmon and the gaps in the science. Broderick has also appeared in numerous media reports on this issue including in the Toronto Star, the Vancouver Sun, the Winnipeg Free Press, the Charlottetown Guardian, and the CBC. More on that at The London Free Press article is at