Genetically modified salmon scrutinized by FDA panel: CU comments 9/10
On September 21, 2010, Consumers Union senior scientist Michael Hansen provided comments to an FDA advisory committee that is reviewing the safety and environmental impact of AquAdvantage Salmon, which is genetically engineered to reach mature size more quickly. (See photo comparison.)
| Size comparison of AquaAdvantage Salmon ( background ) vs. conventional Atlantic salmon sibling. (Source: AquaBounty Fact Sheet) |
Consumers Union believes that the FDA should require labeling of genetically engineered salmon for several reason spelled out in the comments.
In a Consumers Union nationwide poll, 95 percent of respondents said they thought food from genetically engineered animals should be labeled, and 78 percent strongly agreed with this.
At the recent hearing, CU noted that the FDA should require labeling based, in part, on the fact that the inserted genetic material, which is from the Chinook growth hormone gene, and the resulting product(s) are man-made food ingredients.
In addition, CU pointed out that FDA should require labeling to insure that any unexpected or unintended effects of engineering this salmon come to FDA attention. This salmon would be the first genetically modified animal to enter the U.S. food supply.
Such labeling is authorized by international guidelines. Recently certain drugs approved by FDA as safe have turned out to have unexpected health effects after they were widely used by consumers. It is essential to label a genetically engineered animal so that any unexpected effects will be recognized and consumer health protected.
Labeling of Food Made for AquAdvantage Salmon 9/21/10
GE salmon needs more data before approval 9/17/10