Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I certainly agree with the commenter over at some place called NPR, who says:
The 'consulatant' that was on the Diane Reem Show, and the photoshop enhanced image (the larger fish definitely had brightness and a glow added. Even the rocks look better for the other fish!) Courtesy of AquaBounty Technologies, are all FISHY to me.

I also think that for whatever (mostly doomed) publicity if may be worth, we should keep fighting the big corporate push for a monopoly on genetic salmon. In the context of such issues, with so many unknown long-term potential variables, the FDA remains a mostly ignorant and cruel joke inflicted on hundreds of millions of Americans, pretending to regulate over a $1 trillion worth of consumer goods with barely a couple billion budget (itself mostly a reward for not insisting on real or long-term science, or performing their own independent testing, bucking the corporate tide or creating unwanted politics, thereby joining the EPA in cancering us all with essentially untested cocktails of "trade secret" chemical compounds, growth hormones, etc...only in America!). The fact is that in the absence of any regulatory agency with anything even resembling proper funding, incentive or teeth, money talks louder than actual science. All that much easier, one supposes, when there isn't even any science to begin with:

"If you tried to publish this information in a peer-reviewed journal, it would be rejected," said Anne Kapuscinski, a professor at Dartmouth College and an international expert on the safety of genetically modified organisms.

She said that AquaBounty's application was built on "overly simplistic claims" and that the FDA had not thoroughly analyzed the impact of a modified salmon if it escaped into the ocean.

"There are always human errors or equipment failures, and you have to analyze what would happen under those circumstances," Kapuscinski said.

Ron Stotish, the chief executive of AquaBounty, said his company had spent $60 million and 10 years developing and studying the AquAdvantage salmon. "The data we supplied adequately supports our application," he said. "Any fair-minded person would find this to be fairly complete."

Several public speakers argued that the FDA's approval process is not designed to handle the complexities of genetically engineered organisms. The agency is treating the application for AquAdvantage salmon as if it were a new veterinary drug, which means that the deliberations are taking place behind closed doors and that AquaBounty can say much of the research and other supporting data it supplies to the agency is confidential.

The pending decision is being carefully tracked by biotechnology companies that have invested millions of dollars in developing other genetically modified food animals and are next in line behind AquaBounty, waiting for the FDA to act on their requests for approval. The U.S. already permits genetically modified plants, such as corn and soybean.

More here.

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