The Center for Food Safety (CFS) recently revealed a document that proves the U.S. Food and Drug Administration knowingly withheld vital information during recent hearings regarding the approval of GMO salmon.
The Biological Opinon, created by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in 2003, provides conclusive evidence that genetically modified (GMO) salmon pose a serious threat to endangered Atlantic salmon if accidentally released into the wild.
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By failing to release this document prior to the September 19th public hearing on AquaBounty’s GMO salmon, the FDA continues an alarming trend that this agency and the U.S. government have engaged in since GMO foods first appeared in the 1990s (Food Democracy Now).
“This [document] adds further evidence that in fact GE salmon pose a serious threat to marine environments and is another compelling reason for the FDA not to approve the fish for commercial use,” said Andrew Kimbrell, Executive Director of the Center for Food Safety.
“While the FDA applauded the company’s choice of land-based containment as responsible, it never revealed that it is illegal in the U.S. to grow genetically engineered salmon in open-water net pens.”
At the public hearing in September, the FDA’s advisory committee was split in their recommendation to make a decision on GMO salmon, with several committee members criticizing the poor science submitted by AquaBounty and calling upon the FDA to demand more rigorous independent scientific review despite the agency’s previous decision weeks earlier that GMO salmon were “safe” for human consumption (Digital Journal).
“The recent developments only add to the increasing concerns raised by the public, members of Congress and the FDA’s own Advisory Committee,” said Jaydee Hanson, Senior Policy Analyst at the Center for Food Safety.
“The documents received make clear that some data was even kept from FWS and NMFS scientists who would not sign the confidentiality agreements requested by the FDA. If the FDA won’t even share confidential company data with government scientists, what else is it keeping secret from the public?” added Hanson.
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