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Time Is Ticking On 'Franken-food' Review

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View John McManus's blog posts
15 June 2012, 3:13 PM
FDA must stop dawdling on genetically modified salmon and other food

Californian voters will vote in the fall on a proposal to require most food products to label known genetically modified organism ingredients.

Not surprisingly, big food manufacturers, many who use plenty of genetically engineered corn and soy products, don’t like the idea of the public knowing if their food includes genetically engineered products. They have started their attack on the measure, hoping to see it voted down.

Meanwhile, the FDA is sitting on an application to approve a genetically engineered GE salmon as a “drug” even though the salmon are intended for human consumption. If approved, these unnatural salmon would be the first-ever GE fish intended for human consumption in the U.S. No doubt the makers of the GE salmon would love to keep the GE part secret to their eventual customers if they ever win approval to grow the fish.

We hope they don’t win that approval, at least not until FDA taken a hard sober look at the environmental risks the GE salmon might present.

Over a year ago, Earthjustice filed a petition with the Food and Drug Administration, urging it to take that hard, sober look.

As Earthjustice attorney Khushi Desai said, “We want FDA to conduct a careful, comprehensive, and open review of the many significant environmental risk questions raised by this first-of-its-kind application.”

Among other things, the petition points out deep concerns regarding potential destruction of wild salmon populations if the manmade salmon ever escaped into the wild.

After patiently waiting more than a year for the EPA to respond and hearing nothing, Earthjustice recently asked the FDA to respond to the petition. So far, no response.

Earthjustice is acting on behalf of Ocean Conservancy, Friends of the Earth, Center for Food Safety, Food & Water Watch, the Center for International Environmental Law, and Greenpeace in this case.


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