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Say No to Franken Fish

May 10, 2011

The FDA is ready to approve the genetically engineered salmon. Once approved, the fish can be sold in the markets in two years. The salmon has been created by the AquaBounty Technology, who will own the patent of the fish, a monopoly of its market profit.


SAY NO TO FRANKEN SALMON May 13, 2011

The FDA is ready to approve the genetically engineered salmon. Once approved, the fish can be sold in the markets in two years. The trans-genetic salmon has been created by the AquaBounty Technology, who will own the patent of the fish, which means, as the proprietor of the patented salmon, the company is able to capitalize the fish market and has the exclusive right to invent, own and sell eggs to fish farmers.

The Franken salmon is a hybrid contains the genes from other fish species and grows twice as fast as those in the wild. Genetic engineered salmon suffers from deformities, general inflammation and painful lesions; it is, by nature, a sick fish and must be kept in isolation very much like a sick patient.

Salmon are an endangered species. They are one of the most miraculous animals that deserve our respect. The life journey of each salmon ends in self-sacrifice. They travel as far as 1000 miles from the Pacific Ocean to return to their birth place, the inland rivers, in order to lay eggs and die. But genetically engineered salmon are raised in filthy fish factory farms that are miles away from the open sea; they are subjected to infections, parasites such as deadly sea lice infestations and screamer disease, the fish is unable to close its jaws due to jaw erosion as if the fish is screaming. Factory farmed salmons, like all other factory farmed animals, suffer from physical injuries and unimaginable stress in crowded fish tanks. Yes, fish do feel pain and has been studied and confirmed by Victoria Braithwaite, a professor of biology and fisheries and other research scientists.

No one can deny that there are serious ethical issues in animal biotechnology and in its methods of raising lab invented animals. Such unethical practice has no regard to the animal's basic biological integrity and well being except aiming at its commercial value; the animal's genes are being manipulated in the lab that causes great biological chaos of the creature. Bio-technology is an act of arrogance by re-designing nature, disrupting the connectedness between the species and its habitat for the purpose of serving the interest of only one species.

Food products from Genetic modified animals also put the consumers at great risk because "the for profit only company" is also fighting against the law of labeling the genetic engineered salmon in order to fool the public. If the Franken salmon is approved by the FDA, it will set a precedent and open the door to federal approval of other trans-genetic animals such as hybrid chickens, pigs and cows. Other fish such as tilapia and trout are being genetically modified as well.

Many government scientists are suspicious of the Franken salmon. According to a recent poll, 65% of the public say they will not eat the GE salmon. On what basis that FDA can claim the safety of GE salmon? Their assumption is not verifiable since the FDA has no prior experience or established means to evaluate or determine the safety of genetic modified animal products. In addition, the Franken salmon can pose environmental risks; it could decimate the wild salmon population if the imprisoned fish escape into the wild (or being released intentionally by someone) and competing with the wild ones for food sources.

One thing is certain, no technology can guarantee its promised safety (from nuclear power plant to deep sea oil drilling) especially in the case of animal biotechnology.

Presently, a bill S.230 in the senate/ H.R. 521 in the house has been introduced by the members of the congress. They are making efforts, along with other consumer and interest groups, to prevent the approval of genetic engineered salmon. They also question the safety of the lab invented fish on human health since seafood in general is highly allergenic.

For the sake of protecting the consumers, the animals and the environment, I urge you to call your senators and representative now and ask them to co-sponsor the bill to reject FDA's approval of Aqua Bounty genetic engineered salmon.

Mira Fong

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