Earlier this year, we asked supporters to contact the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to voice opposition of genetically engineered (GE) salmon. We are pleased to report that with a combined effort of a coalition of 30 organizations, including AAVS and Farm Sanctuary, nearly 2 million people told the FDA that they do not want GE salmon to be sold as food. Considering FDA has a history of ignoring the problems associated with GE animals, so we must ask Congress to stop the sale of GE salmon.
The “Prevention of Escapement of Genetically Altered Salmon in the United States Act” (PEGASUS) would ban the transportation, sale, purchase, or possession of GE fish in interstate or foreign commerce, effectively making it impossible to sell GE fish in the U.S. It has been reintroduced this year by Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) and Representative Don Young (R-AK). We need your help to get this important bill passed!
Developed by Aqua Bounty, these GE salmon supposedly grow twice as fast as other salmon, but this trait comes with serious health consequences. The company’s own data reveal that their GE salmon are typically unhealthy and are more likely to suffer from skeletal deformities, jaw erosions, inflammation, lesions, increased susceptibility to disease, and increased mortality. Additionally, GE salmon are raised on aquaculture farms where crowded, unsanitary conditions have been documented to cause numerous health problems and pose environmental risks.
Just as troubling is all that we don’t know about GE salmon. Despite AquaBounty having had years to gather relevant data, many of the animal health studies looked at just 12 fish, and intentionally excluded ones who were obviously unhealthy. The researchers assessed the health of the fish over only a two-week period and neglected to investigate the effects of the genetic modification throughout the animals’ different life stages. The studies tell us nothing about how frequently antibiotics needed to be administered or how many fish had to be killed because they were deformed or diseased.
Aqua Bounty’s GE salmon would be the first ever genetically engineered animal to be sold as food. As such, it sets a dangerous precedent for how other GE animals might be approved, and there are already several in the pipeline, including cows and pigs. Because of this, it is vital that high standards meant to protect animal health, consumers, and the environment are met. Passage of the PEGASUS Act (S. 246 / H.R. 1667) would keep GE fish off the market, preventing animal suffering and safeguarding human health and wildlife habitats.
Dozens of members of Congress have written to the FDA, expressing condemnation of the agency’s approval process, and more than 90 environmental, consumer, health, and animal welfare organizations, along with fishing associations, food companies, and retailers have also asked that FDA approval be halted. Consumers are wary, too, with poll after poll indicating that more than two-thirds would not buy GE food if given the choice, and 95% requesting that GE foods be labeled.
What you can do!
Ask your Senators and Representative to support the PEGASUS Act (S. 246 / H.R. 1667). Tell them The PEGASUS Act would prevent the sale of GE salmon, and help ensure that other genetically engineered animals for food do not make it on the menu.
Use the form below to write to your Senators and Representative and ask them to take a stand against GE fish.
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