This post was originally published at Food & Water Watch.
Move over Grinch. The FDA is doing everything in its power to give American consumers a terrible holiday gift this year. Today they took the final step toward approving genetically engineered (GE) salmon, the first GE food animal. Even after countless Americans have expressed their deep concerns about this frankenfish, the FDA has turned a deaf ear moving forward with this reckless approval. That’s why we’re asking Congress to block the approval of GE salmon.
As we reported earlier this month, we’re not surprised that the FDA chose today, the Friday before Christmas, to release their draft Environmental Assessment. AquaBounty, the biotech company responsible for bringing us GE salmon, used its own data to convince the FDA that this fish is safe to eat. Of course they think it’s safe: their profits are inextricably linked to its approval. Which is why it’s so outrageous that the FDA would take AquaBounty’s word over that of dozens of legislators and scientists, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, not to mention thousands of concerned consumers. The best way we can fight the FDA’s abuse of its approval power is by asking members of Congress to keep GE salmon out of our grocery stores.
And if the approval of GE salmon wasn’t enough to zap the holiday spirit right out of you, this frankenfish may be hitting the market without any sort of label, meaning that concerned consumers will have no way of choosing to avoid GE salmon. You see, AquaBounty — and apparently the FDA as well — don’t believe consumers deserve the right to know whether the fish they’ve been eating is genetically engineered.
But our members of Congress are accountable to us, so we have to show them that Americans all across the country don’t want to see GE salmon swim into our local grocery stores or restaurants. Regardless of the political party of your members of Congress, we believe that there is an opportunity for bipartisan opposition to the FDA’s reckless decision.