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Congress must investigate GM salmon

1.Devastating disease found in Canadian GM fish
2.Congress must investigate GM salmon's impacts
1.Video: Cohen Commission reveals ISA found in Canadian Genetically Engineered Fish

Documents released for the Cohen Commission have revealed that infectious salmon anemia (ISA) has been found in genetically engineered salmon at a site in Prince Edward Island. Because the site is land based and isolated from the ocean environment the question is how were these fish contaminated with ISA.
2.Congress must investigate GE salmon's human health impacts
Dan Bacher 
Food and Water Watch, December 15 2011

Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food & Water Watch, welcomed the hearing that a U.S. Senate Subcommittee will hold on the environmental impacts of genetically engineered salmon on December 15 but said that Congress needs to investigate the human health impacts of GE salmon. 

The hearing of the Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard Subcommittee can be viewed live starting at 10:30 a.m. today at the commerce committee’s website: 

“The Senate hearing today called by Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) to discuss the environmental impact of genetically engineered (GE) salmon is a welcome development,” said Hauter. “Congress also needs to examine what we know about the human health impacts of consuming such laboratory creations. If they did, they’d figure out the answer: not much.” 

Hauter noted that no long-term studies have been conducted regarding the human health impacts of consuming genetically modified foods, including “Frankenfish.” 

“Congress needs to step in because the Food & Drug Administration seems set on approving this first transgenic animal to enter the food chain, even though nearly all of the safety studies they are scrutinizing have been conducted by AquaBounty, the company that has sunk tens of millions of dollars into the research and development of the product,” said Hauter. 

“That hasn’t kept the federal government from also dispensing tax payer moneyto the tune of $2.4 million since 2003to help this private company commercialize a product there is no demand for. In fact, over 78 percent of Americans say they don’t want it approved without further study,” noted Hauter. 

On September 20, Food and Water Watch conducted a pool with Lake Research Partners showing that 78 % of Americans believe AquaBounty’s GE salmon product should not be approved for human consumption. Opposition grows even stronger for genetically engineered meat, with 91 % saying the FDA should not allow transgenic pigs, chicken and cattle into the food supply until the agency could perform its own safety studies. 

“Approving GE salmon now, given the information we lack about its potential effects, could be devastating for consumers, the environment, and fishermen alike,” Hauter concluded. 

“This will be the biggest disaster set loose by humans to destroy Chinook, which in turn destroys our water ways and all that depend on it, including humans,” said Caleen Sisk-Franco, Chief and Spiritual Leader of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe. “No big corporation like AquaBounty should be allowed to do this to the public trust. GE salmon will cause additional unanticipated harms that AquaBounty does not want the public to know. They just want people to eat this inferior FrankenFish!!

“Tell your Congress to step up and stop the Food and Drug Administration from approving FrankenFish!” Sisk-Franco urged.  

The Obama administration’s fast-tracking of the GE salmon approval process takes place as the Sacramento River fall run chinook salmon population is recovering from the unprecedented collapse of 2008 and 2009, when record low numbers of salmon returned to spawn in the Central Valley rivers. While the fall run is on the rebound, endangered winter run and spring run chinook populations continue to decline.      
The fishery collapsed due to a combination of factors, including record water exports out of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, poor ocean conditions and declining water quality. 

Meanwhile, the same Obama administration that is fast-tracking the FDA approval of Frankenfish is also forging ahead with a controversial plan to build a peripheral canal or tunnel to export more northern California water to southern California water agencies and San Joaquin Valley agribusiness. Delta advocates believe that the peripheral canal will lead to the extinction of Central Valley salmon, Delta smelt, longfin smelt, Sacramento splittail, green sturgeon and other imperiled fish populations. 

Food & Water Watch, a national consumer advocacy organization, works to ensure the food, water and fish we consume is safe, accessible and sustainable. So we can all enjoy and trust in what we eat and drink, we help people take charge of where their food comes from, keep clean, affordable, public tap water flowing freely to our homes, protect the environmental quality of oceans, force government to do its job protecting citizens, and educate about the importance of keeping shared resources under public control. 

For more information, contact: Darcey Rakestraw, 202-683-2467; drakestraw [at],