FDA Close to Approval of Genetically Engineered Salmon

FDA Close to Approval of Genetically Engineered Salmon

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UPDATE: The uproar generated by Friends of the Earth activists and 20 other environmental groups forced the FDA to extend the timetable for approval of the frankenfish.

The FDA will now conduct more research and allow more public input on the environmental impacts this fish could have. We could not have achieved this success without the 7,900 comments submitted to the FDA by Friends of the Earth supporters.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently held public hearings on the approval of a genetically engineered (GE) salmon created by the biotechnology company AquaBounty Technologies. If approved, these fish would be the first genetically engineered animals to be approved for human consumption.

If the FDA were to approve the genetically engineered ‘AquaAdvantage’ salmon, this would pose serious threats to public health and the environment. The FDA’s approval process of GE animals is highly flawed and relies only on the industry’s data to determine the health and safety of consuming these products. The Obama administration would also not likely require these GE fish to be labeled, a move that would prevent consumers from choosing not to eat these potentially dangerous fish.

According to a study conducted at Purdue University, if just 60 genetically engineered fish escaped into a wild population of 60,000, the wild population would become extinct within forty generations.[1]  A report from the National Academy of Sciences said there is a “considerable risk of ecological hazards becoming realized should transgenetic fish or shellfish enter natural systems.[2]

Friends of the Earth has been following developments in animal genetic engineering for many years and will push the FDA to reject the “AquaAdvantage” salmon and any genetically engineered animal, such as the so-called Enviropig™.[3]

Public hearings on the approval and labeling of GE fish took place from September 19 to September 21. Public comments on whether these GE fish will be labelled can be submitted to the FDA , until November 22, 2010. Stay tuned for more information on our campaign against GE salmon at our biotechnology campaign page



Testimony delivered to the FDA on September 20 by Eric Hoffman, biotechnology policy campaigner

Written comments submitted to the FDA by Friends of the Earth and 20 other environmental and public interest groups

Coalition Demands FDA Deny Approval of Controversial Genetically Engineered Fish

Company says FDA is nearing decision on genetically engineered Atlantic salmon – Washington Post

First genetically modified salmon sparks FDA debate – USA Today

Gene Altered Fish Closer to Approval – Wall Street Journal

Watch NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams coverage of our rally outside the White House

Letter from Major Environmental Groups to the FDA on Approval of GE Salmon




[1] http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/01/AR2010080103305.html

[2] http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?isbn=0309084393

[3] Learn more at: http://action.foe.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=3845