More than 1.5 million objections to GE salmon filed

As the comment period comes to a close today, Just Label It joins consumer groups, such as Center for Food Safety, Food & Water Watch, and Friends of the Earth, in collectively submitting over 1.5 million objections from concerned consumers to a proposal before the Food and Drug Administration to approve genetically engineered salmon.

The AquaBounty’s “AquAdvantage” GE salmon is the first genetically engineered animal intended for human consumption.  These salmon are genetically engineered to produce growth hormones year-round to make the fish grow at twice its natural rate.  Despite this new technology, there have been no long-term studies on the safety of eating genetically engineered salmon, nor has the environmental or economic impact of this salmon been adequately evaluated.

On December 21, 2012, the Food and Drug Administration released an Environmental Assessment with a “Finding of No Significant Impact” on the controversial AquaBounty AquaAdvantage transgenic salmon. The FDA action was widely viewed as confirmation that GE salmon is on the fast track for approval, in the face of widespread public outcry.

Over 54,000 Just Label It supporters submitted comments to the FDA, stressing the importance of thorough human health, environmental, and economic impact studies in regards to GE salmon. They also noted that if the FDA decides to approve the AquaAdvantage GE salmon, clear, mandatory labeling is an absolute must when marketing to consumers, as well as fish farmers, fish retailers, food companies and restaurants, to allow people to make informed purchasing decisions.

Numerous consumer, health, and fishing groups have also continued to express concern regarding the effects of the first GE animal entering the marketplace.   Joining together as a coalition, these groups recently launched the “Campaign for Genetically Engineered (GE)-Free Seafood”, in an effort to bring food retailers on board.  Over 2,500 stores across the United States are currently represented.

“Each and every American has the right to know what they are eating and feeding their families,” said Scott Faber, Executive Director of Just Label It. “Until the further effects of this technology are clear, consumers should have a clear choice as to what they put on their dinner plate.”

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