Last year, after review and stalling well beyond believability, the United States Food and Drug Administration approved the AquAdvantage salmon, an Atlantic salmon that expresses a gene from a Chinook salmon and grows faster.
This would be a good thing to most in science and health. Fish is good for you, and we are told we should eat more of it, while environmentalists want there to be less fishing. This salmon accomplishes both goals - nonetheless, it was decried as "Frankenfish" by the political science majors who get titles like "Science Director" at environmental groups.
Friends of the Earth is at least a little more honest with their titles - they have unleashed a senior food and technology campaigner (codespeak for their best fundraiser) to once again tell scientists they are both irresponsible and stupid for making one salmon grow as fast as another salmon. That does not mean they are honest in their claims, especially when they write, "a growing body of science suggests that GMO salmon may pose serious environmental and public health risks, including potentially irreversible damage to wild salmon populations."
What growing body of evidence? This thing was under review since 1996, it was the most exhaustively examined food in history. Had there been any evidence to block it, surely that would have happened. It doesn't matter, this is a common tactic among environmentalists when they don't have a science basis for their beliefs - they gather a bunch of other environmentalists and a few hand-picked scientists to all claim the same thing, then declare they have "weight of evidence." Next, all they will need o do is hire an economist like Chuck Benbrook to carefully craft a meta-analysis using just those papers and they will have a journal study supporting their claim and they can declare the science settled. Disagree and SourceWatch will declare you a shill for Big Fish.
Until then, they are simply gathering names of stores who will commit to not selling this new fish ... yet. Is Red Lobster taking a page out of the disastrous Chipotle marketing handbook? It would be just as hypocritical, since 93 percent of their “red snapper” isn't actually red snapper, just like Chipotle saying they got rid of GMOs was hypocritical in not mentioning they only got rid of them in soybean oil. Whole Foods joined the boycott too, but it's no shock the wealthy elites who shop there would rather holocaust wild fish populations than support sustainable farming.
And what about the large chain Albertson's, which is being trumpeted in the latest Friends of the Earth press release? What they wrote was, "We support the role and responsibility of FDA to provide guidance for the industry regarding genetically engineered foods–such as GE salmon. This should include a safety review and a determination as to appropriate labeling."
So the safety review was completed last year but the labeling standards are not. Therefore, Albertson's is agreeing to not sell something they can't actually buy anyway.
It's just marketing, and stores can't lose. Scientists are not going to stop buying food at a Safeway store just because the millennial who runs their Responsibility, Sustainability and Community Twitter feed says they are waiting until a label is created, and then will see how much cheaper it is.
What is odd is that so many environmental groups are now lobbying greedy capitalists to do the job they traditionally lobby government so aggressively to do - but failed, because the government accepted science.
- The Science And Politics Of Genetically Engineered Salmon: Dr. Alison Van Eenennaam Answers 5 Key Questions
- New Report: Explosive Growth Changes Salmon Industry
- Anti-Science Positions That Threaten American Food Security
- 15 Years Of FDA Stalling? Anti-Science Beliefs About Genetically Engineered Salmon
- FDA Approves AquAdvantage Salmon After Extensive Review