Posted Oct. 22, 2011 / Posted by: Eric Hoffman
Updates from a tour of Atlantic Canada – the center of the genetically engineered salmon controversy
During a week-long tour of Atlantic Canada, we will raise awareness on the risks of genetically engineered fish pose to our environment and our health. We’ve spent the past year urging the Food and Drug Administration to conduct proper environmental assessments on genetically engineered salmon, to deny approval of the so-called “Frankenfish,” or at the very least to label them so consumers know what they’re eating and feeding to their families.
Off to Canada
On October 23 I’m flying to Prince Edward Island, Canada, for a week-long tour of Atlantic Canada to discuss the risks of genetically engineered fish. Prince Edward Island is home to the facility that will create genetically engineered Atlantic salmon eggs to be raised into food for the U.S. public. This would be the first-ever genetically engineered animal to be approved for human consumption and could open the floodgate to other genetically engineered animals, such as trout, tilapia, cows, pigs, and even chickens.
Friends of the Earth has been campaigning for the past year to prevent the FDA approval of this genetically engineered salmon produced by Massachusetts-based company AquaBounty Technologies. We have asked the FDA to complete a comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement to get a better idea of the risks genetically engineered salmon pose to the environment and to wild salmon populations – but it seems as if the FDA is gearing up to move ahead with only a flawed environmental assessment based on company data that doesn’t look at the full range of risks these fish pose. We have also asked the FDA to put a label on this genetically engineered fish should it decide to approve it, so consumers can avoid genetically engineered salmon if they chose.
We are now taking our show on the road to raise awareness on how genetically engineered salmon may impact the people and environment of our neighbors up north. I will be traveling with Jaydee Hanson, the senior policy analyst at the Center for Food safety, and meeting up with Lucy Sharratt, the coordinator of the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, and Leo Broderick, vice-chair of the Council of Canadians, to give four public presentations and meet with local activists and politicians. You can learn more about the events, including venues and a list of speakers, at the CBAN website. These events are all free and open to the pubic, and we hope to see you and any friends or family you have in the area!
I will also be updating this blog daily (as long as internet access permits) to keep our members and supporters up-to-date with how the trip is coming along, along with pictures and news from the road. In the meantime, check out all our resources in the sidebar above for information on genetically engineered foods and our campaign against them. Be sure to let us know what you think!
Entries from the week
Monday, October 24
Tuesday, October 25
Wednesday, October 26
Thursday, October 27
Friday, October 28
Food and Technology
/ Tags: Eric hoffman, Genetic engineering
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