Sunday, February 10, 2013

Fear of super salmon

As has been widely reported, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has made a preliminary finding that production of a genetically engineered line of supersized Atlantic salmon "would not have a significant effect on the quality of the human environment in the United States."

A Boston-based company, AquaBounty Technologies, wants to produce eggs at a facility on Canada's Prince Edward Island, then ship the eggs to a land-based salmon grow-out facility in the highlands of Panama.

Market-sized fish would be processed into fillets and steaks in Panama prior to retail sale in the United States.

Naturally, Alaska's wild salmon industry and its political defenders believe this is just a horrible idea, and are resisting in much the same way they have always resisted competition from aquaculture.

Last week, Alaska Sen. Mark Begich introduced a bill to bar sales of genetically engineered salmon in the United States unless another agency, NOAA, also finds it would have no significant impact.

"The FDA lacks the expertise to judge the impact of escaped Frankenfish on wild salmon stocks," Begich said.

Alaska Congressman Don Young likewise aims to make life difficult for AquaBounty salmon. He has offered a bill to "require all genetically engineered fish sold for consumption to be labeled as such."

The FDA is taking public comment on its preliminary finding until Feb. 25.


Anonymous said...

Resisting Aquaculture,?

The Super Duper, genetically modified Congress

Anonymous said...

How the FDA and AquaBounty weaseled their way to their way to genetically modified salmon approval. Fish or Drug?

Anonymous said...

While important, and I attended the rally and signed the petition protesting this move, it appears the move by the State of Alaska to jeopardize our MSC certification will end up costing the Alaska salmon industry, particularly the high quality producers, much more than competition from Frankenfish.

Eric Jordan

Anonymous said...

the story at the link above claims that frankenfish is a drug rather than a food??? wtf??

Is bullshit like this even possible?
oh wait-- It's our government in bed with a corporate applicant, never mind

Anonymous said...

Mr. Jordan, you have to remember that the pollack trawl fishery is MSC certified. Certainly, I believe that fishery is sustainable for pollack, for salmon, not so much. Just sayin.
Processors have realized that it isn't MSC certification that is selling our salmon. It is the efforts of ASMI and self-marketing entrepreneurs who have convinced the american public that the best salmon in the world comes from Alaska. Thankfully, people all over the world are paying attention to what they eat. Point of origin labeling for ALL food should be the law.
Farmed fish put us through some hard times, for sure. In looking back, it may have been the best thing that could have happened to us. NOBODY ate salmon before farms. There wasn't enough. At 13% or so of world salmon production, we have to realize we are a niche market. Right now farm production is through the roof. Price of winter kings? Nearing $10.
From my understanding, Frankenfish will not have to be labeled as GM. The FDA was sympathetic to Aquabounty contentions that it would be unfair as consumers have an aversion to GM foods. I think this will actually hurt all farmed fish, and put more consumers on our fish, as few people would be comfortable buying farmed fish, as it could possibly be GM.
All we have to do is stress our point of origin. Somebody buying a winter king in Seattle this time of year SHOULD be able to know WHERE the fish came from and even who caught it. Best advertising in the world. That and what the king is going to taste like.

Anonymous said...

Feeding the upper crust King Salmon from Alaska should not be a priority for the State of Alaska especially when thousands of poor people in Western Alaska can't put any in their freezers for winter these days. Isn't a state's job to take care of their own first?

Anonymous said...

This is not a welfare state. If your job does not provide you the means to take care of your family, then get retrained for a different job, move to a different location, and most imporatant do something besides drinking alcohol and whinning about it.

Anonymous said...

Alaska is not a welfare state but subsistence uses of fish and game resources takes priority over all other uses.

Ironic about the comment stating that if your job does not provide you the means to take care of your family, then get retrained for a different job, move to a different location,and ... (racial blabber).

See Melvin Andrew's commentary in the Alaska Dispatch on "Opportunity: How my opinion of Pebble mine changed."

Mr. Andrew describes how commercial fishing job no longer pay enough for many in his community to cover the year-round bills, and the Pebble mine offers year-round economic opportunities.

But of course we all know that commercial fisheries are the only responsible renewable resource development in Alaska.

Just look at the lack of chums in Western Alaska. Since the WASSIP study didn't turn up the smoking gun, guess the next best bet must be the NANA Red Dog mine, the world's largest zinc mine, as the culprit for their decline of chums.

I guess that resource development project has done little for NANA or its shareholders, and I guess the proposed Donlin Creek mine will do very little for economic development in Southwest Alaska either...

Anonymous said...

Even though Alaska is not a welfare state, it sure seems like one especially in the rural areas where Uncle Sam has pumped millions and millions of dollars into housing and social welfare programs to no apparent change.

It's about time that those non-profit corporations receiving money on behalf of the poor people in their regions be held accountable. The US can't afford to pour money into a black hole with no positive results anymore. It's become nothing more than an employment scam. In some cases, there are 2-3 people doing one job. In some cases, everyone has an assistant, helping them hang out in the office talking about each other. In all cases, it's non-productive.

Federally funded social welfare programs take good money and turn it into play dough. Dead wood being paid for by hard working American's tax dollars. The whole system should be shut down and the money given directly to the needy.

Anonymous said...

Alaska is a welfare state, ever since big oil and big fish have been taxed and given to lazy people. "Needy" people? BS. Self induced "needy". Get off the bottle, get off your ass.

Anonymous said...

5:34 Thoughtful comment, looked to me like it was supporting my point.

Eric Jordan

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm!....Monsanto Salmon cumming to a river near you!...MSC...RIGHT?