The FDA has been considering approval of a genetically engineered (GE) salmon (and soon other popularly eaten fish to follow) for human consumption that grows at twice the rate of normal salmon. The GM salmon is a mere starter in the culinary revolution of GE animals for human consumption. The approval of GM salmon will pave the way for an ever-growing number of animals to be genetically engineered for human consumption.
The company responsible for the first Frankenfish for humans to eat is AquaBounty. AquaBounty has developed an advanced-hybrid (Genetically Modified) salmon, trout, and tilapia designed to grow faster and significantly larger than their conventional siblings. The tilapia that’s being developed is a modified version that has been developed so that it can digest protein more efficiently. The result is a giant fish that can grow up to five times the size of a non-transgenic tilapia, sounds real yummy and healthy, huh?! Just looking at the photo above is enough visual indication that GM salmon are hardly fit for eating!
Even though selective breeding for specific traits has been done for centuries, what many don’t realize is that there is always a trade-off when it comes to adding features to a species. We see it all the time in plants. Take the tomato for instance, they’ve bred the daylights out of them (in my opinion) and have gotten the once flavorful and delicious tomato to be fantastic traveler which can be shipped 3,000+ miles. However, they taste horrible and the nutritional value is lacking,two things I feel are very important to maintain. So who cares if the breeders achieved their goal of creating a tomato that ships well, they’re disgusting!
Fact, when we make changes like this there is always a trade-off and always some things are lost. Genetically engineering a species is quite a bit different from breeding a tomato that ships well and one has to consider the consequences very seriously prior to making those changes, I do not feel the scientific community has had enough time or the freedom to speak about results they find; those who found devastating results in GM crops, and probably other scientific manipulations, have lost their jobs or quit when they were suppressed or threatened by big company’s.
AquaBounty (ABTX) is being traded on the London Stock Exchange. They recently, and proudly, announced this in a press release. However, AquaBounty’s securities (shares) are not currently publicly traded in the US markets nor are they registered with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), read Investor Relations.
The aggregate number of AquaBounty Common Shares being subscribed for is 33,277,870 and efforts are being made in this fund-raising campaign of $2.0 million (£1.26 million).
AquaBouthy’s major shareholder’s (shown below), currently hold 64.5 percent of the existing common shares, they are:
- Linnaeus Capital Partners (#1) 32,774,406 shares (47.65% of the company’s existing shares) “which it intends to transfer to its wholly owned subsidiary, Tethys Ocean. In addition, Tethys Ocean has agreed with the Company to subscribe pro rata to Linnaeus’ current holding for an additional 15,857,038 new Common Shares. Following the Transfer and the Subscription, Tethys Ocean’s share of the Company will represent 47.65 per cent of the Enlarged Share Capital. As part of the transaction, Tethys Ocean will be purchasing Center for Aquaculture Technologies, Inc, the subsidiary set up by the Company to spin out the Company’s Research & Development division and subsequently the Company will enter into a contract research agreement with Center for Aquaculture Technologies to receive research services. As Linnaeus is, and Tethys Ocean will be, a “substantial shareholder” of the Company, their participation in the Subscription, their purchase of Center for Aquaculture Technologies and the subsequent provision of contract research services to the Company by Center for Aquaculture Technologies, constitute a “related party transaction” under the AIM Rules.”
- Alejandro Weinstein (#2) with 3,536,669 shares
- Fairchild Corporation with 2,934,750 shares
- Lou Barnett (#3) with 2,601,533 shares
- William Marcus with 2,535,802 shares
“The Subscription [shares] is subject, inter alia, to the approval of Shareholders at the General Meeting of the Company which will be held on 22 March 2012 at 10.00 a.m. at AquaBounty Technologies, Inc., 935 Main St, Waltham MA 02451, USA.”
The FDA says that once it approves GE salmon, which is very likely, that it will not require GE salmon to be labeled as “genetically modified” or “genetically engineered.”
In fact, the FDA ridiculously claims it would be illegal to require these GE fish to be labeled as such because they are, in the minds of the FDA, no different from regular fish! Clearly that statement and kind of thinking comes only from those who are invested financially and from those who have been paid-off. This makes it impossible for us to ever know the truth on just how detrimental GM foods are to the environment and our health.
Another Handout of Taxpayer Money
In November 2011, the USDA gave AquaBounty $500,000 in taxpayer money because AquaBounty has been having financial challenges during these tough economic times while they wait approval from the USDA and FDA of their GM salmon. This $500,000 of ‘our’ money appears to be a bridge while AquaBounty does a little fundraising to acquire $2.0 million selling shares of their stock. So rather than the company going bye-bye each of us, unknowingly, is helping AquaBounty keep their project and head afloat while they await approval.
These types of assistances seem to be going around rather freely these days, don’t you think?
It makes me ask the question of, “why is it that the big corporations and those involved with chemicals, GMO’s, pharmaceutical drugs, Wall Street and banking, are getting so much help while the majority of the population lives on less and less, while more and more is taken away from us?”
One reason AquaBounty has had a bit of trouble obtaining a speedy approval and financial support is because their AquaAdvantage salmon are not always sterile, which poses a huge problem in the environment, not to mention the health and well-being of the fish themselves. The FDA feels that 5 percent of the GM salmon eggs are fertile.
There is a really good reason ‘why’ these GMO’s require sterility! And it is not a matter of ‘if’ they get out into the wild, but when. Those results will be devastating. We already know from our past track record that we are not close to being capable of containing any species that has gotten out of our control, a few examples are: kudzu, gypsy moth, killer bees, English Ivy, Purple Loosestrife and many dozens more.
There are reasons ‘why’ everything grows (naturally) at the speed in which it does, nature is a perfect system for this planet and various things occur at different stages of development over a period of time for the wholeness and wellness of the living thing. Like processed foods, I’m not convinced that our bodies would even recognize these GM species as being a food. If that is the case then we can look forward to a whole new set of illnesses and diseases.
At this point, I think we all have seen video and images of chickens that are twice what their normal weight should be, the poor things can hardly stand up… so, we can only imagine what a horrible life these salmon will be living while they’re growing extremely fast and eating DuPont’s fish food, all of which I will discuss further.
In the meantime, where are all the animal rights activists!?
I think the real question here is, “do we really want to be eating food of that quality and putting something like that into the environment?” And, do we really want to be allowing this kind of manipulation of living organisms to persist?
It’s bad enough that there is farm raised salmon and the impacts it imparts on the environment and our health, now we looking down the throat of having GM farm raised salmon eating some kind of DuPont frankenfood – this is absolutely insane.
The part that I find disturbing is that they claim that these things (GM organisms) are being done so that we can feed the world. The fact is, we had much higher crop yields before farmers planted GM seeds and the problem of people starving was never due to lack of food but rather of poor distribution of the food.
What Exactly is Genetic Engineering
Genetic engineering entails introducing desirable traits of one living being into another, using recombinant DNA , or rDNA technology. DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is made up of two strands of nucleotides, twisted around each other in a double helix at the nucleus of a cell. The order of the nucleotides determines hereditary characteristics, it’s genes.
Before now, genetic engineering has been used widely in agriculture (by Monsanto and DuPont) to make crops (as in RoundUp Ready) resistant to pests and herbicides, in the development of microbes to produce pharmaceuticals for human and animal use, and in food to produce microorganisms used in baking, brewing and cheesemaking. While various organizations have been working to develop genetically modified animals, such as the University of Guelph’s “Enviropig” – which more easily digests plant phosphorous, thus excreting less of it into the environment – AquAdvantage® Salmon would be the first to be approved by the FDA for use as food.
The fish’s rapid growth will be boosted by the injection of a combination of a growth gene (GH-coding sequences) from the Pacific Chinook salmon and genetic material (the AFP gene) from the ocean pout – a large, eel-like fish – into the fertilized eggs of Atlantic salmon, making the recombined DNA present in cells throughout the body of the fish. The Chinook gene promotes the growth to market size, and the pout gene allows the fish to grow in the winter as well as the summer. These crossings in DNA never occur in nature between such different species, thus in effect we have created a ‘new’ species altogether, one that our bodies will probably not recognize as real food.
AquaBounty claims the resultant fish are reproductively sterile due to another genetic alteration – triploidy – that eliminates the possibility of interbreeding amongst themselves or with other native breeds, while maintaining protection over intellectual property. The company will only sell female eggs and raise the fish within contained, inland systems. However, despite these assurances, the FDA indicates that up to 5% of the eggs may indeed be fertile, and the company’s claims in this regard are “potentially misleading.”
December 20, 2011 Natural News states;
As the US federal government continues to evaluate whether or not to approve AquaBounty’s genetically-modified (GM) “AquAdvantage” salmon, Canada’s Cohen Commission (CC), a group established by the nation’s government to track the decline of Sockeye salmon in the Fraser River, has announced some shocking information. According to a recent report, AquAdvantage being raised at a land-based, isolated site on Prince Edward Island have been found to be contaminated with Infectious Salmon Anemia (ISA), a serious viral disease that affects Atlantic salmon.
Catherine Stewart from the Living Oceans Society and Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform recently gave an interview in which she explained the mysterious ISA discovery in the “Frankenfish.” According to the CC report, Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) reported to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) back in 2009 that there had been an outbreak of ISA at the Prince Edward Island facility raising AquAdvantage salmon.
“I think we have to ask the question, ‘How did this get into this facility?’ This is a land-based, closed-tank system that’s raising these genetically-engineered fish,” said Stewart. “It could only have come through the eggs or the smolts, or through water that the facility pumps from the bay into their facility.”
AquaBounty is the same company, of course, that has been trying to ramrod US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for its highly-allergenic AquAdvantage Frankenfish without so much as a shred of independent, legitimate scientific evidence proving that the imitation fish is safe for humans and the environment, or that it will not reproduce and destroy stocks of wild salmon all over the world.
Meanwhile, this Prince Edward Island scandal clearly illustrates that AquaBounty is incapable of even protecting its own protected stocks of fish from disease, let alone protect the world’s oceans from contamination. If the company cannot even maintain its own disease-free, protected environment, how can it be trusted not to release GM fish and their traits into the wild?
“Was AquaBounty getting [its] eggs from Norway, Scotland, and were these ISA-infected eggs? We don’t know,” added Stewart. “And if [AquaBounty] had that disease in its facility, what’s happening to the water they are dumping into the bay? What percentage of the water they use in this facility is recirculated, and what percentage goes out as effluent into the receiving waters, and does that effluent water contain the ISA virus? Are they treating the effluent? Again, we don’t know.”
Video: Cohen Commission Reveals ISA Virus Found in Canadian GM Fish an Interview
September 23, 2011, Interim Report from AquaBounty states;
Ronald Stotish, Chief Executive Officer of AquaBounty, commented: “While the approval process has taken longer than anticipated, we strongly believe that the FDA is moving towards a successful conclusion. Equally, the potential market for AquAdvantage® Salmon and other biotechnology-based products continues to grow. As a result, we look to the future with confidence and to delivering value to our shareholders.”
Chairman’s Statement FDA approval
“AquaBounty completed all submissions for its New Animal Drug Application (“NADA”) for AquAdvantage® Salmon with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) in 2010. After public meetings on the results of their review, the FDA released documents stating that the product was safe as food, safe to the fish, and safe for the environment. As reported in the Company’s preliminary results announcement of 3 May 2011, the next stage in the approval process is expected to be the publication by the FDA of an Environmental Assessment for AAS (“EA”), followed by a period for public comment. Any approval by the FDA of AquaBounty’s AAS application would follow this assessment. AquaBounty has not been informed of the likely date of the publication of the EA, but remains in dialogue with the FDA which leads the Company to believe that they are advancing towards the successful conclusion of the process.”
“In June 2011, the Company shipped a new batch of recently hatched AquAdvantage® Salmon to AquaBounty’s facility in Panama for grow-out. The fry have acclimatized and are performing extremely well. Two prospective customers within the U.S. have made applications to begin preliminary trials on an R&D basis of AAS and are awaiting approval from the requisite regulatory authorities to be able to proceed. Once AAS is approved for sale, the Company will immediately begin field trials with prospective customers in the U.S. and abroad who have registered their interest.
The Company advanced its development program for the second generation of AAS, which is being partially funded by a grant from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.”
Update on Congressional Bill
“As announced on 17 June 2011, an amendment to the Agricultural Appropriations Bill to prohibit the FDA from utilizing any of the appropriated funds for the purpose of approving “genetically engineered salmon” was introduced and approved by voice-vote in the U.S House of Representatives when fewer than ten members (out of a total of 435) were in attendance. This amendment does not represent a broad consensus of opinion by U.S. lawmakers, and is viewed by many as subverting the authority of the FDA and undermining science-based regulatory policy.
The Agricultural Appropriations Bill currently under consideration by the U.S. Senate does not include a provision regarding genetically engineered salmon. The bill has been approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee and will now be debated on the floor of the Senate.
The management of the Company believes that it is unlikely that a provision designed to obstruct the approval of AquaBounty’s NADA will be included in any eventual final law passed by the House and the Senate. Leadership in both the House and Senate have historically rejected attempts to subvert the science-based regulatory policy of the FDA.
In August 2011, the Company was pleased to note the opposition of the scientific community against this interference by certain politicians. One such challenge to the politicians came in a letter to Congressional Leadership from the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), which joined 37 scientific and agriculture organizations in urging Congress to support the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s mandate to base its assessments on science.”
“While the process has taken longer than initially expected due to the pioneering nature of the application, the Company remains confident that the FDA is advancing towards the approval of its New Animal Drug Application. Once received, AAS will be the world’s first genetically modified animal approved for human consumption.
Aquaculture continues to grow more rapidly than other food-producing sectors. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, 82% of global fish stocks are overexploited, depleted or endangered. With world population and demand for fish protein increasing, sources of supply are under ever increasing pressure. The Company believes that biotechnology-based solutions, such as its AAS, can assist in overcoming this shortfall by enabling a new and sustainable production system. As a result, the potential market for AAS and other AquaBounty products is substantial.”
July 20, 2011 DuPont and AquaChile announce sustainable salmon production partnership, and it states;
“…that [partnership] was started four years ago to improve salmon farming and reduce the need for fishmeal and fish oil supplies in the diet of that resource.
Since 2007 the partners have been developing a new feeding strategy “that dramatically reduces the need for wild-caught fish as part of the salmon’s diet,” according to a joint press release.
To this end, an ‘innovative and revolutionary’ plant-based feed ingredient diet has been devised for the Atlantic salmon.
It consists of a type of yeast developed by DuPont, which could also be used in other species.
This new yeast-based feed ingredient provides a new land-based source of the essential nutrient EPA, a long-chain Omega-3, which is required for the natural health of the salmon and is a heart-healthy nutrient in human diets,” added the two companies.
“DuPont is committed to the evolution of aquaculture because we believe our biotechnology capabilities can accelerate the transformation of this market with more environmentally-friendly solutions,” stated John Ranieri, DuPont Material Group vice president.
He added: “Our partnership with AquaChile has created innovations that set new standards for the sustainable farming of salmon and we are committed to finding new solutions that will revolutionize the industry itself.”
We strive to raise this new generation of salmon in a way that offers our customers a more consciously farmed fish that will meet their highest standards of taste and quality apart from having been environmentally-friendly raised,” Márquez de la Plata added.
In traditional salmon farming centres worldwide four kilograms of feeder fish are used to produce the fish oil needed to raise one kilogram of farmed salmon.
On the other hand, the new diet created by AquaChile and DuPont requires only one kilogram of wild fish per kilogram of salmon, or 75 per cent fewer feeder fish, while maintaining the levels of Omega-3s required for the salmon to be healthy and nutritious.
This new approach to salmon aquaculture has been successfully implemented in AquaChile’s commercial farms in the Patagonia region of Chile.
The trademark of salmon is Verlasso and by September 2011 it is expected to export it to four cities in the US market.
“Verlasso has fundamentally changed the relationship between salmon farming and the oceans,” said Verlasso director, Scott Nichols.
“What started as a philosophical approach in search of a solution for an environmental issue is today a fact that is able to align and harmonise aquaculture with the environment and sea resources,” he stressed.
AquaChile is a global, pioneering, visionary aquaculture company, which is a leader in salmon, trout and tilapia production worldwide whereas DuPont is a multinational leading company in industrial biotechnology.
In AquaBouthy’s January 27,2012 Operational Update it states;
“The Company reported in June 2011 that an amendment to the Agricultural Appropriations Bill to prohibit the FDA from utilizing any of the appropriated funds for the purpose of approving “genetically engineered salmon” was introduced in the U.S House of Representatives when fewer than ten members (out of a total of 435) were in attendance. This amendment did not represent a broad consensus of opinion by U.S. lawmakers, and was viewed by many as subverting the authority of the FDA and undermining science-based regulatory policy. The Agricultural Appropriations Bill approved by the U.S. Senate did not include a provision regarding genetically engineered salmon and the House amendment was removed when the Bill went to joint conference.”
In a February 22, 2012 AquaBounty Press Release, it states;
Item 3: FDA Approval
“As previously reported, AquaBounty completed all submissions for its New Animal Drug Application (“NADA”) for AquAdvantage Salmon with the FDA in 2010. After public meetings on the results of their review, the FDA released documents stating that the product was safe as food, safe to the fish and safe for the environment. Since that time, the FDA has been working to complete its Environmental Assessment for AAS to ensure that an approval of the pending NADA would not have an adverse effect on the environment. The FDA has not yet completed this review nor indicated when the assessment will be finalized.”
Item 4: Outlook
“The Board of AquaBounty continues to hold the view that the Company will receive approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its AquAdvantage Salmon product. Though the timeframe is indeterminate, the Board believes that there is a great need for this technology to aid in the security of the world food supply.”
What We Can Do…
You oppose allowing GE salmon to be introduced into the food supply.
If GM salmon (and other species of fish) is approved, that you support honest labeling of the salmon to indicate that it is a genetically engineered organism (GMO).
Contact the FDA and tell them you disapprove of GM salmon http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/CentersOffices/OfficeofFoods/CFSAN/ContactCFSAN/default.htm
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
Outreach and Information Center
5100 Paint Branch Parkway HFS-009
College Park, MD 20740-3835
Toll-Free Information Line:
Industry email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Consumers email: email@example.com
I would like to finish this post with an interview with Bill Gates and his support of GMO’s, clearly he is ignorant on the topic and not an educated or objective spokesperson on any biological topic.
Native Plant Landscaper, Gardener, Labyrinth Design, Feng Shui Practitioner, Aromatherapy / Essential Oils, Big Fan of Nature and Living Simply.
"There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it's going to be a butterfly."
~ R. Buckminster Fuller