By Mike Ludwig
t r u t h o u t
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may have violated the Endangered Species Act when it failed to involve other federal agencies in an upcoming decision that could legalize genetically modified (GM) salmon for human consumption, according to a consumer protection group.
Food and Water Watch (FWW), a group that opposes GM salmon, on Monday released internal documents and emails sent among high-ranking Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) officials. The documents show that, as of last month, the FDA had not consulted the FWS about the threat GM salmon pose to endangered Atlantic salmon.
The documents were obtained with a Freedom of Information Act request.
The FWS officials echo conservationists who fear that GM salmon, which are genetically altered to grow much larger and faster than wild salmon, could escape from breeding areas and affect wild salmon populations.
“I also agree … that using [genetically sterile] fish is not foolproof. Maybe [the FDA] should watch Jurassic Park,” FWS geneticist Denise Hawkins wrote to a coworker in September.
If approved, the salmon would be the first GM animal food approved for human consumption. Critics often affectionately refer to GM salmon as “frankenfish.”
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