GGSA Comments on FDA Approval of Genetically Altered Salmon Bad news for wild salmon

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 19, 2015
Contact: Michael Coats (707) 935-6203 or michael@coatspr.com

 

GGSA Comments on FDA Approval of Genetically Altered Salmon
Bad news for wild salmon

San Francisco — The Golden Gate Salmon Association is disappointed in the federal Food and Drug Administration’s approval of genetically altered salmon as being fit for human consumption.

Genetically engineered salmon pose a serious potential threat to wild salmon stocks that our members rely on to make a living or fish for food and sport. In addition, GE salmon also pose a threat to salmon protected by the federal Endangered Species Act.

Although the creator of the GE salmon, Aquabounty, claims the fish will be sterile and kept in closed tanks, other reports have suggested that as many as five percent will be fertile and able to reproduce or possibly hybridize wild fish if they escaped into the wild.

“No one knows if genetically engineered fish would spell the end for wild stocks if they escaped and hybridize but it’s not something any of us wants to find out,” said GGSA executive director John McManus.  “History clearly shows that to date, farmed salmon have escaped every form of capture where they’ve been confined.”

Farming of salmon in general requires large amounts of wild forage fish for food, produces large volumes of waste that pollute waters near the salmon farms, and produces large volumes of parasites and pollution from drugs given farmed fish to combat parasites and other fish disease.

The Golden Gate Salmon Association (goldengatesalmon.org) is a coalition that includes commercial and recreational salmon fisherman, businesses, restaurants, an Indian tribe, environmentalists, elected officials, families and communities that rely on salmon. GGSA’s mission is to protect and restore California’s largest salmon producing habitat comprised of the Central Valley river’s that feed the Bay-Delta ecosystem and the communities that rely on salmon as a long-term, sustainable, commercial, recreational and cultural resource.

Currently, California’s salmon industry is valued at $1.4 billion in economic activity annually and about half that much in economic activity and jobs again in Oregon. The industry employs tens of thousands of people from Santa Barbara to northern Oregon, including in the California’s Central Valley. This is a huge economic bloc made up of commercial fishermen, recreational fishermen (fresh and salt water), fish processors, marinas, coastal communities, equipment manufacturers, the hotel and food industry, tribes, and the salmon fishing industry at large.

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