Posts tagged ‘Food and Drug Administration’

GM Fish under FDA review

The FDA has yet to reach a decision about its approval of genetically modified salmon for public consumption, but things are not looking good for concerned American consumers.

The review panel of “experts” does not consist of food safety experts, and includes people who could be biased towards approving AquaAdvantage’s fish – including individuals who have themselves developed genetically modified animals, and one person who used to work for Monsanto.
It also seems that because of procedural technicalities (which seem hollow, and point more directly to the financial bottom line) it is unlikely that any labeling would be required to alert consumers as to the nature of this, or any other GM product, because the companies that produce these products (and it seems the FDA too) are concerned that people would not want to buy food that they knew to be genetically modified.  Which, lets face it, would likely be the case.  So instead it seems likely that they will make it policy to keep American consumers in the dark, and force them to buy products that they overwhelmingly do not want to buy, and that this technology will be approved, potential dangers to health and environment, and all.  Bastards.

Here are some other reasons that this strikes me as a bad idea:

GMO Salmon under reveiw by FDA

This week the FDA is holding public meetings regarding their review of genetically engineered salmon.  If approved for consumption this would be the first genetically engineered animal product to be introduced into our national food chain.  GMO’s are already in use in plant material, and currently there are no labeling requirements in the U.S. to allow consumers to tell which food products contain them.  If approved these genetically altered salmon would open the door to the other GMO meat products waiting in the wings, including EnviroPig, and a cow designed to resist Mad Cow disease.

It’s no secret that GMO’s are controversial, and there have already been problems and issues related to the altered plant products, including the uncontrollable spread of GMO crops and potential health threats.

GMO’s fall under the category of drugs according to FDA review guidelines and so this fish and any other GMO product seeking approval are reviewed by a panel of experts who normally review veterinary pharmaceuticals – not food safety issues.

All of this makes me very nervous.  I have my doubts about the rigour and accuracy of the FDA’s safety review processes, and I also am suspicious of the amount of influence that Big Food might have on their decision-making (I know it sounds paranoid, but that doesn’t really matter if it happens to be true).  The amount of money to be made from this technology, paired with the potential environmental and health effects make this a very potentially volatile topic.

Obviously I hope that the FDA does not approve this GMO fish for public consumption.  Further, I hope that if it does approve it that they at least require clear product labeling so that those of us how are made very nervous by GMO’s in our food can attempt to avoid them.  For now everything is up in the air.