Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Canadian Approval Puts 'Frankenfish' One Step Closer to Dinner Plate

Facility on Prince Edward Island can now begin commercial production of genetically-modified salmon eggs

- Jon Queally, staff writer

The government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper has moved 'Frankenfish' one step closer to the plates of consumers by approving the commercial production of genetically-engineered (or -modified GE/GM) salmon eggs in Canada.The experimental lab-created Atlantic salmon eggs have been produced by AquaBounty, an American company, at a remote facility in Bay Fortune, PEI for more than a decade while it tries to convince the U.S. government to allow the mutant fish into grocery stores, says the local PEI group, the Islanders Say No to Frankenfish. (From their Facebook page)
AquaBounty, the U.S.-based company behind the drive to commercialize the freakishly fast-growing salmon, now has permission to transform its research facility on Prince Edward Island, well-known as a seafood mecca on the north Atlantic coast, into a production facility where salmon eggs spliced with genes from a seal eel can be produced on a mass scale.
Food safety were quick to criticize the move.
“We are alarmed and disappointed by the short-sightedness of this decision," said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director for the Center for Food Safety, in a statement. "GE salmon production, in Canada or anywhere else, threatens native salmon survival around the world." 
As the Guardian reports:
The decision marked the first time any government had given the go-ahead to commercial scale production involving a GM food animal.
The move clears the way for AquaBounty to scale up production of the salmon at its sites in PEI and Panama in anticipation of eventual approval by American authorities.
The Food and Drug Administration is expected to render a decision in the near future on the sale of GM salmon, and in due course some 30 other species of GM fish currently under development, campaigners and industry figures said.
Kimbrell was adamant that FDA approval would be mistake, saying his group "has spearheaded U.S. opposition to approval of this experimental GE fish for over a decade because of its inherent irreversible harms.  Yet FDA has thus far refused to rigorously analyze the impacts of GE salmon.  It must do so before even considering any approval.”
Though the eggs in Canada would not yet be allowed to grow into fish, the decision by country's regulatory body, Environment Canada, was startling to those concerned about the safety of the "AquAdvantage Salmon™" (yes, its trademarked) who cite concerns about what would happen if these fish escape their hatcheries or commingle with native Atlantic salmon.
“This is one concrete step closer to the reality of GM fish on our plates, and unfortunately it is a really dramatic step,” said Lucy Sharratt of the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network to the Guardian. “It's a global first, and it has a significant global potential impact for our environment. It starts a chain of decisions that could be just disastrous for our aquatic ecosystems.”
And Sharon Labchuk, of the P.E.I. group “Islanders Say No to Frankenfish,” told the local Prince Edward Island Guardian that the idea of genetically altering fish is "very experimental and the risks of anything going wrong are disastrous. They can wipe out the wild salmon population if these fish ever escape and their eggs end up in the wild rivers.”
And Pratap Chatterjee, editor of CorpWatch, adds:
Environment Canada’s decision is a little unusual given that AquaBounty has come under fire for failing to meet Panamanian environmental regulations. Last week AquaBounty was the subject of a complaint from the Environmental Advocacy Center of Panama to Panama’s National Environmental Authority after a 2012 investigation showed that the company had failed to submit regular monitoring or obtain permits for wastewater discharge.
“These allegations suggest a dangerous pattern of non-compliance and mismanagement by AquaBounty, raising the likelihood of an environmentally damaging escape of these fish,” George Kimbrell, senior attorney for Center for Food Safety, wrote in a press release last week. “This news further undermines the empty assurances that AquaBounty and the Food and Drug Administration have given the public and suggests that Panama’s environmental laws may have also been broken.”

AquaBounty has been conducting research and running tests on genetically modified fish for some 20 years in the hope that it will eventually win approval to market its products in the estimated $100 billion global fish market. The company is also testing modifications of other fish like tilapia and trout.

Monday, November 25, 2013


A report was released today proposing a link between genetically modified foods and gluten-related disorders: everything you need to know – including a brief article summarizing the findings – can be found at www.glutenandgmos.com.

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) Linked to Gluten-Related Disorders

Do you or a loved one suffer from gluten sensitivity? You may be wondering why you react to gluten now even though you never did in the past. You may be wondering why a gluten-free diet has helped, but has not completely resolved your symptoms. If you are on a quest to find all of the pieces to the gluten puzzle, this information is for you. In today’s report, released by the Institute for Responsible Technology, a team of experts proposes a possible link between genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and gluten-related disorders. The analysis is based on Dept. of Agriculture data, Environmental Protection Act records, medical journal reviews, and international research. You can find all of the following at www.glutenandgmos.com:
A brief article summarizing the findings
The press release
A recorded interview with Jeffrey Smith and Tom Malterre, CN

The full report

Stay Away from GMOs

Many people who discover they are gluten-sensitive actually increase their intake of GMOs because they switch from wheat products to corn products. With 88% of the U.S. corn crop genetically engineered, avoidance of GMOs in the gluten-free community presents a unique challenge to consumers.

The best way to avoid GMOs is to consult the NonGMOShoppingGuide.com or download the free iPhone app ShopNoGMO. Look for products with either the “Non-GMO Project Verified” or the “Certified Organic” seal. Avoid ingredients derived from the foods most likely to be genetically modified. These include soy, corn, cottonseed, canola, sugar, papaya from Hawaii or China, zucchini, and yellow squash.

If you have seen improvement in a gluten-related condition after eliminating GMOs from your diet, please email healthy@responsibletechnology.org to share your story.

If you have a friend or relative suffering from gluten sensitivity, ask them if they eat GMOs and forward this email to them!

Help us to reclaim a non-GMO food supply!

Safe eating begins with INFORMED eating!

The small but mighty IRT team!

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