Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Think Tank Tuesday 11/24: FDA Approves GMO Salmon

The FDA approved the sell of Frankenfish genetically modified salmon. The fish has been altered genetically to produce a much larger fish for consumption, but the general public is clearly against this monstrosity even being sold in local markets:

[Last week, the Federal Drug Administration approved the first genetically modified animal to be commercially sold and consumed nationwide. But instead of U.S. retailers taking favorably to the historic news, more than 60 supermarket chains are refusing to sell it in their stores—Costco now included.

The second-largest retailer in the world—Walmart is the first—said in a recent statement that it hasn’t sold and doesn’t intend to sell the GMO salmon. The news comes nearly three months after more than 18,000 people sent letters to Costco stores across the nation urging the retailer to forgo selling the salmon created by AquaBounty Technologies. 

In June, a coalition composed of fishers, Costco customers, the Community Alliance for Global Justice, and other advocacy groups rallied outside the chain location nearest the company’s Washington state headquarters and presented more than 300,000 petition signatures from nationwide organizations. At the time, Costco responded to the petition by saying it didn’t plan to sell GMO salmon—and the chain has reaffirmed that stance in the wake of the FDA approval.

Costco joins supermarket chains including Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Safeway, and Kroger in promising not to sell the genetically modified fish, according to environmental group Friends of the Earth.

... The GMO salmon will not be labeled as such, as the government doesn’t require foods containing GMOs to be labeled, and the FDA noted in its approval of AquAdvantage that it would not need to be designated as a genetically modified product. Instead, AquaBounty CEO Ron Stotish told The Washington Post last week that the fish would likely be marketed as Atlantic salmon. The fish has an added gene, which the FDA classifies as a drug, that allows it to grow much more rapidly.

Read the whole story here!

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with the FDA's stance on genetically modified organisms being safe for human consumption or are you against it? Should the general public have the right to choose if they want to consume GMOs requiring appropriate labels in stores?

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