Alaska congressmen: FDA GM report 'alarming'
By SeafoodSource staff
28 December, 2012
U.S. Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), chairman of the senate subcommittee on oceans and fisheries, has issued a statement criticizing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its recent draft report finding that genetically-engineered salmon is safe, and calling on the public to protest what he calls “Frankenfish."
“The notion that consuming Frankenfish is safe for the public and our oceans is a joke,” Begich said. “I will fight tooth and nail with my Alaska colleagues to make sure consumers have a clear choice when it comes to wild and sustainable versus lab-grown science projects.
Aquabounty Technologies, a Massachusetts-based company, has been waiting for the FDA’s report, while critics like Begich have lined up to protest the genetically-modified salmon the company wants to produce as unsustainable and a potential health hazard. Last year, according to Begich, 93 groups representing fishermen, consumers, and other concerned parties signed a letter in opposition to genetically-modified seafood
Other Alaska-based congressional critics have also responded to the FDA report. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said in a statement, “I am concerned with the recent news that FDA is moving forward with the approval of genetically modified fish. This is especially troubling as the agency is ignoring the opposition by salmon and fishing groups, as well as more than 300 environmental, consumer and health organizations.
Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) also issued a statement blasting the FDA, saying, “I’ve said from the beginning that ‘Frankenfish’ pose a grave threat to Alaska’s wild salmon stocks, and today’s decision by the FDA is foolish and disturbing.
Begich noted that the law requires the FDA to submit a written report to Congress on the issue, but the FDA has not done that yet.
“I am also concerned that the FDA is continuing to disregard the will of Congress,” Begich said. “It seems incredibly irresponsible to be moving forward on Frankenfish before they’ve taken a step back, consulted with experts on marine fisheries, and considered the potential impacts more broadly.”
28 December, 2012