FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 19, 2015
Senate Democrats oppose FDA’s approval of Frankenfish
GMO fish approved for consumption for first time
Alaska’s world-class wild salmon fisheries have been placed in direct competition with so-called frankenfish today as the Federal Food and Drug Administration approved, for the first time, human consumption of a genetically-modified animal. The FDA approved a GMO company’s request to raise genetically modified Atlantic salmon.
The FDA has declared that the modified salmon are safe to eat, showing no nutritional differences from wild Atlantic salmon. The modified fish grow twice as fast as wild salmon; they have been genetically altered to produce growth hormone continuously, unlike their wild counterparts.
“This decision is disappointing, and it raises all kinds of red flags,” said Sen. Dennis Egan (D-Juneau). “A lot of people are still uncomfortable with the idea of eating genetically-altered foods, and I’m not convinced of the safety. I’m also worried about the risk to our wild, healthy and sustainable salmon populations should these altered fish escape into the environment.”
“Salmon are a critical part of our economy, and of our way of life,” said Sen. Donny Olson (D-Golovin). “I’m not interested in setting up a competition between our natural wild salmon, that we know are a healthy food source, and some genetically-modified frankenfish. I’m opposed to anything that threatens our economy and our Alaskan way of life.”
“This is a terrible idea, simple as that,” said Sen. Bill Wielechowski (D-Anchorage). “I’m not comfortable with the science, and I’m not convinced these fish won’t escape into the wild, damaging wild populations and causing unknown problems in the ecosystem. Alaska does a great job managing its wild fisheries, and we have to stand up against this threat.”
This year more than 263 million salmon were commercially harvested in Alaska – the second largest harvest ever. More than 60 retailers have already pledged not to sell genetically modified fish.