Letter to the Editor: A one-sided story that's a little fishy

I have to take issue with the one-sided view expressed in the article, ("Fighting a strong current/Mass. firm behind modified salmon struggles against FDA delays," Dec. 5).

The article was sympathetic to the company, Aquabounty, which has developed a salmon genetically modified to grow at twice the normal rate. It implies that this is undoubtedly a good thing: "... could help reduce food costs and improve food safety," without providing any evidence whatever that this is the case.

The only " evidence" provided in favor of this "frankenfish" is that the FDA "in 2010 concluded that Aquabounty's salmon was as safe to eat as the traditional variety. . . . [and] that there's little chance that the salmon could escape and breed with wild fish, which could disrupt the fragile relationships between plants and animals ion nature."

The GMOs that have already been approved and put into production give little reason to be lulled by this optimistic assessment by the FDA. Most of the corn, soybeans and cotton grown today in the U.S. are genetically modified varieties, and the problems associated with them are growing in actuality and in the public's awareness.

Farmers have noticed a spike in reproductive problems in livestock fed GM corn and soy; the increased application of pesticides (not decreased, as the GMO companies originally touted) has given rise to super-weeds and super-bugs that are now impossible to control with the usual chemicals. So the agri-chemical companies now want to sell ever more toxic pesticides and herbicides to spray on our farmlands. (And, we the public are also consuming more and more residue of these poisonous chemicals.)

So, why should we accept a new genetically modified organism, this one designed to be eaten, not by livestock that we eat, but by humans directly? What actual evidence is there that those things the FDA claims about this fish are true? In the case of the GM crops, no long-term, independent safety testing was done or required. No studies of the actual effects on the environment we all share and depend on were needed. There is little reason to believe the FDA was more cautious in its oversight in this case than in those previous. Let us fervently hope that this experiment does not survive long enough to contaminate our food supply.




If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.

Powered by Creative Circle Media Solutions