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Senators Call For Halt To GM Salmon Approval

21 July 2011

US - US Senators have sent a letter to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asking commissioner Margaret Hamburg to halt the approval process of AquaBounty's genetically modified (GM) AquAdvantage salmon, which AquaBounty say would ignore 15 years of scientific study by the FDA.

Signed by eight US Senators, including Senators Mark Begich and Lisa Murkowski, the letter asked the agency to cease the approval process for AquaBounty Technologies' AquAdvantage Salmon.

Commenting on the letter, Ronald Stotish, PhD, President And CEO Of AquaBounty Technologies, said: "We remain confident that the more deliberative body of the Senate will refrain from interfering in the 15- year scientific review by the US FDA."

"The facts about the safety and the environmental benefits of the fish have been made fully public by the FDA. It would be a dangerous precedent to react to a handful of legislators' misinformed paranoia."

"The real waste of tax-payer dollars would be to abandon the important American principle of science-based regulation, responding instead to economic protectionist fears or subjective and emotional judgments. This is an issue greater than our application, an issue of American leadership in technology, innovation, and science based regulation," Mr Stotish concluded.

The US FDA has conducted a rigorous 15-year review of thousands of pages of data and has concluded that these fish are exactly the same as any other Atlantic salmon and, therefore, are safe for consumption.

In addition, the fish will be sterile and required to be grown in self-contained inland tanks, posing no threat to the environment.

Finally, the United Nations reports that the wild caught fisheries are severely stressed, with major food species potentially extinct by 2050, yet the demand for fish protein is exploding worldwide.

America currently imports more than 97 per cent of the Atlantic salmon consumed here, while a handful of Senators willfully ignore science-based research widely available to the public said Mr Stotish.

Further Reading

- Go to our previous news item on this story by clicking here.

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