Action Alert: Genetically Engineered Salmon

January 9th, 2013

(This Action Alert is Over)

FDA Seeks Public Comment

UPDATE:  The FDA has extended the comment deadline to April 26!

FDA poised to approve genetically engineered salmon despite
unknown risks to human health.  Inevitable accidental release of
transgenic fish into the wild could devastate
native fish populations and ecosystems!

Salmon.Sized

The DNA of the top fish has been genetically engineered to produce growth hormones all the time for its entire life. People who eat this fish will be eating this DNA, along with the growth hormones.

Despite overwhelming opposition from citizens and public interest groups to genetically engineered (GE) food, including 400,000 public comments opposing GE salmon, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced December 26, 2012 that it is prepared to give transgenic salmon its final stamp of approval.

The FDA failed to address serious concerns about the safety of consuming salmon that has been genetically engineered to produce growth hormones at all times, allowing it to grow faster and bigger than natural salmon. The FDA has not conducted any safety testing, and merely assumes that the genetically engineered salmon is safe to eat.

The FDA has also not considered the potential ecological and economic impacts of approving genetically engineered salmon. Salmon is an integral part of the ecosystem, and the accidental escape of genetically engineered salmon could devastate populations of native salmon, as well as the fish and marine mammals that depend on salmon for their food. Scientists have predicted that escaped GE salmon would likely wipe out wild salmon populations, which will destroy the livelihood of coastal communities that depend on fishing.

Despite the fact that the vast majority of Americans do not want to eat genetically modified organisms, this salmon will not be labeled as such. Yet the Obama administration is willing to gamble with our health for the financial benefit of one biotechnology company.

US citizens have the opportunity to comment to the FDA, expressing support or opposition to genetically engineered salmon.

Full Instructions for Submitting Public Comment:

To submit your comment electronically:

http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=FDA-2011-N-0899-0685

For the required field “Organization Name,” please enter “Citizen.”

To mail your comment:
Division of Dockets Management (HFA- 305)
Food and Drug Administration
5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061
Rockville, MD 20852

Include the following docket number in your mailed comment: FDA-2011-N-0899

Comments must be received by the FDA no later than April 26, 2013.

Sample Letter
(Please note that your personalization of this sample letter will increase its impact)

To the FDA:

Please do not approve genetically engineered salmon. The health risks of consuming salmon that has been genetically altered to produce growth hormones at all times are unknown. Your claim that genetically engineered salmon is safe to eat is based on an assumption, not on rigorous scientific investigation.

The accidental release of transgenic salmon could be devastating to marine ecosystems and wild salmon populations. It is naïve to assume that no transgenic fish will escape into the wild. The National Academy of Sciences wrote that release of transgenic fish is “of immediate concern” and “might pose environmental hazards.” These impacts would likely be irreversible.

I urge you to put human health, the environment, and the economic well-being of coastal fishing communities first. The FDA should rely on independent and credible science, not on science supplied by the corporation that stands to profit from your approval.

Please delay approval of genetically engineered salmon until the results of independent scientific studies show that genetically engineered fish is safe to eat and harmless to the environment.

Please also require the labeling of GE foods, to allow consumers to make an informed choice.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

Additional Action
If you would like to do more, please contact your legislators, asking them to block the approval of GE salmon.

To find contact information for your representative and two senators:

House of Representatives

Senate

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