In two previous posts, September 21, GMOS & GE—“Different Names, Same Process” and October 12, “The Right To Choose,” I discuss genetically-engineered food. In the latter post, I state: “I want to know how my food was grown as well as the food sources. I believe Congress does not have the right, under the influence of agribusinesses or anyone else, to eliminate my right of choice. Once again, what are these companies trying to hide?”
Now I must address the same remarks to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Last Thursday, they approved genetically-engineered salmon for human consumption, and they said the salmon wouldn’t have to carry a label specifying it as genetically modified. Why? The law for labeling only applies to the “material” aspects of food, and guess what, under the current guidelines, genetic engineering isn’t a substance.
Since these salmon would be raised in a production facility in Panama, I have some thoughts on various aspects of these genetically-engineered fish. In no set order:
- Farm-raised fish have a different omega 3 to omega 6 fatty acid ratio than wild fish have—for farm-raised the ratio shifts to a higher omega 6 (inflammatory) content over a omega 3 (anti-inflammatory) content. Thus, eating farm-raised fish greatly reduce the omega 3 health benefits of eating fish. In addition, American diets are already too high in omega 6 fats.
- What type of testing was performed to deem these salmon safe for us to eat? What are the potential long-term ramifications (I’m talking years) of eating such fish? As I have previously asked, “Do you want to be the experiment?” Please note, it will be at least two years before these fish become available.
- Since these fish are being raised in Panama, are the safety standards less stringent or more stringent than those in the United States?
- Since they will be farmed-raised, what type of feed will they be fed? Chances are the cheaper, the better for profits. Again, what safety standards would be used for the feed?
- Since these salmon will be raised in tanks, antibiotics and other drugs will probably be used to fight infections/parasites. Thus, you would be eating tainted food.
- Also, think of these tanks as being similar to the farming methods used in the commercial livestock industry. Not a pretty picture.
- Even though these tanks will be inland and the fish sterilized (the technique isn’t 100% effective), can the company absolutely guarantee a fish won’t escape and negatively impact wild salmon?
In connection with my above thoughts, I have an update regarding my September 21 post on the H.R. 1599 bill: “What you might not be aware of is the House of Representatives passed “The Safe and Accurate Food labeling Act” (H.R. 1599) in July of this year that would, among other things, ban states from passing laws requiring the labeling of GMO foods. Interestingly, this act has been referred to by opponents of the legislation as the Deny Americans the Right to Know Act (DARK Act).”
This bill still has not been introduced in the Senate. But Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan would like to see the legislation passed by the Senate by the end of the year.
If you’re not pleased with the above developments, please speak up and demand your right to know. Thank you.