FDA’s Labeling Discussion on Genetically Engineered Salmon Premature
Statement from Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director, Food & Water Watch
Washington, D.C. – “In light of the flimsy science debated in yesterday’s FDA hearing on genetically engineered (GE) salmon, the labeling discussion today is wholly inappropriate.
“Yesterday, even members of the Veterinary Medicine Advisory Committee, who are generally in favor of biotechnology, raised serious concerns around some of the science, citing the poor methodology and construction of the studies, which were provided by AquaBounty. The small data sets, the poor design, and the fact that the company killed off salmon that were deformed prior to doing a physical analysis for comparison with non-GE fish were all cited. They didn’t test enough fish, or the most appropriate types of salmon that would be likely to end up on consumer’s plates.
“Given yesterday’s hearty debate on the flawed science before the committee, we believe that it is even more imperative that the agency develop a more sophisticated process for allowing GE meats to become part of the American diet. Their regulatory regime has not kept pace with the advances in science. We are hopeful that the FDA will not act to approve GE salmon during the up-coming end of year holidays, when people are too busy to notice—which we have seen agencies do in the past on controversial issues. They need to be intellectually honest about the poor science and not bow to political pressure from the biotech industry.
“We will continue to urge the FDA to delay approval until it can do its own independent, well-designed, long-term studies on the effects of consuming genetically engineered meat.”
Contact: Darcey Rakestraw, 202-683-2467; drakestraw (at) fwwatch.org