The FDA is looking at what might be the first genetically engineered animal to hit our dinner plates: salmon that can grow at twice the normal rate.
The FDA reviews genetically engineered animals in a secret process that protects what they consider the company's proprietary information, so we don't know what they're learning about genetically engineered salmon.
But, if the FDA looked at the science reviewed by an expert panel from the Royal Society of Canada, they would see that genetically engineered fish commonly suffer deformities that effect just about everything about them: the way they look, their ability to breathe and move through the water, their enzyme activity, their behavior and their hormones.
This is not normal salmon.
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If the FDA decides to approve this Franken-Salmon, they might have to require it to be labeled as a genetically modified organism.
Of course, as a Monsanto subsidiary admitted sixteen years ago, "If you put a label on genetically engineered food you might as well put a skull and crossbones on it."
Ever wonder how Monsanto's executives figure out what to feed their kids? The following quote, taken directly from Monsanto's Web site, shows that Monsanto's savvy employees understand that if they want to avoid genetically engineered foods, all they have to do is buy organic:
Individuals who make a personal decision not to consume food containing GM [genetically modified] ingredients can easily avoid such products. In the U.S., they can purchase products that are certified as organic under the National Organic Program. They can also buy products which companies have voluntarily labeled as not containing GM ingredients. The law allows for voluntary labeling so long as the information is accurate, truthful and avoids misleading consumers about the food. Monsanto supports both options.
Of course, Monsanto's bottom line business model relies on misleading consumers, monopolizing seeds, buying off scientists and politicians, and strong-arming farmers. They're not afraid of organic, so long as certified organic crops and foods remain a small niche market.
Unfortunately Monsanto's business model seems to be working, at least in North America. The overwhelming majority of corn, soybeans, cotton, canola, and sugar beets grown in the U.S. and Canada are Monsanto's patented GMO varieties, despite mounting evidence that these "Frankencrops" are bad for the environment and hazardous to animal and human health. While nearly everyone in North America has eaten genetically modified foods, only 26% believe that they have.
The only way to turn this around is to label genetically engineered foods, which Monsanto, of course, opposes. They understand that health and environmentally conscious consumers are increasingly becoming aware of the dangers of GMOs, and that, if given the choice through mandatory labeling, as in the European Union, they will avoid them or boycott them.
We need to help consumers defend themselves from Monsanto and the biotech bullies. The most effective way to do this is to pass a law requiring labels on genetically engineered foods. Please send a letter to your US Senators, Member of Congress and candidates for federal office, asking them to support the pending bill in the U.S. Congress, the Genetically Engineered Food Right to Know Act.