As the senior scientist at
Trout Unlimited, I’d like you to join me in urging the FDA to conduct a full
environmental impact statement before approving genetically modified salmon.
A group known as AquaBounty has created a new type of fish by mixing the genes
of a Chinook salmon and an eel-like fish called an ocean pout. They are seeking
approval from the FDA.
If these genetically engineered fish are approved, and escape into the wild,
fisheries experts say they could cause catastrophic damage to the last
remaining stocks of wild salmon.
AquaBounty has established safeguards to make sure that their stocks of
genetically modified fish are sterile and have no way of escaping confinement,
but who will ensure the proper sterilization and confinement of these fish as
their use extends to global markets?
We simply want the FDA to conduct a full environmental
impact analysis and consult with salmon fisheries experts from
federal agencies like NOAA Fisheries and the Fish and Wildlife Service before
making their decision.
It’s up to you and me to stand up and protect wild salmon and healthy
fisheries. Until we have more information, and until we’ve assessed
all of the risks, the FDA should not approve this fish.