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NEWS: GM salmon may be approved in the US, is Canada next?

Leo Broderick

Leo Broderick

The Associated Press reports, “Federal health regulators (in the United States) say a genetically modified salmon that grows twice as fast as normal is unlikely to harm the environment, clearing the way for the first approval of a scientifically engineered animal for human consumption. The Food and Drug Administration on Friday released its environmental assessment of the AquaAdvantage salmon, a faster-growing fish which has been subject to a contentious, yearslong debate at the agency.”

“Wenonah Hauter, director of the advocacy group Food and Water Watch, urged members of Congress to block the impending approval of the fish.”

As noted in a Postmedia News article, “The fish are engineered in Prince Edward Island, home to AquaBounty’s research facilities, to grow to market size twice as fast as conventional salmon with a growth hormone gene from the Chinook and a genetic on-switch from the ocean pout.”

The Council of Canadians has long opposed the approval of genetically modified salmon:

– September 2010: we participated in a rally again GM salmon in Charlottetown, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=3974

– October 2010: vice-chair Leo Broderick attended FDA hearings in the United States on GM salmon, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=3930, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=9059

– October 2010: we promoted both Food and Water Watch and Canadian Biotechnology Action Network petitions against GM salmon, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=4237

– November 2010: we demanded that Environment Canada disclose information about an environmental assessment of GM salmon, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=4703

– October 2011: Broderick participated in a four-city speaking tour against GM salmon with public events in Charlottetown, Fredericton, Halifax, and St. John’s, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=11511

– January 2012: we highlighted in a campaign blog that if GM salmon is approved in the US, the Harper government may simply approve it in Canada to avoid trade complications, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=12954

The Associated Press article notes, “The FDA will take comments from the public on its report for 60 days before making it final.”

Council of Canadians blogs on this issue can be read at http://canadians.org/blog/?s=%22genetically%22+%2B+%22salmon%22. The Associated Press article is at http://www.montrealgazette.com/health/says+frankenfish+salmon+would+harm+environment+clears/7734268/story.html.