TAKE ACTION: Stop Frankenfish!Twelve executive officers of some of the
nation’s largest environmental organizations have requested that the Food and Drug
Administration conduct a thorough Environmental Impact Statement before deciding
whether to approve the first ever genetically engineered animal for food.

This new animal, AquaBounty Technologies’ AquAdvantage® salmon, containing
genetic material from Chinook salmon, Ocean pout, and Atlantic salmon, is
engineered to grow nearly twice as fast as wild salmon, according to company

As the groups’ letter
states, a full Environmental Impact Statement is necessary to review the potential
harm that commercialization of this genetically engineered fish could inflict
on the environment, biodiversity, and human health.

The FDA has announced its intention to conduct its own
cursory environmental assessment of AquaBounty’s genetically engineered salmon,
although by law it is not required to do so before approval of the application.
“A full Environmental Impact Statement would provide the FDA with the time
needed to fully evaluate these threats instead of rushing through the approval
process with a less thorough assessment,” said Eric Hoffman, Biotechnology
Policy Campaigner with Friends of the Earth.

The groups also asked that the FDA
consult with the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration and the Fish
and Wildlife Service before deciding to approve genetically engineered salmon.

Wild Atlantic salmon have been
listed as an Endangered Species since 2000, partly due to genetic and fitness
impairments caused by inbreeding with farmed salmon escaping from pens,” said Patti
Goldman, Vice President for Litigation with Earthjustice. “It would be
irresponsible for the FDA to approve this genetically engineered salmon without
looking at the threat approval poses to these endangered populations.”

“The threats to wild salmon populations and natural ocean ecosystems
are real and must be thoroughly reviewed,” said Dr. George Leonard, Director of
Ocean Conservancy’s Aquaculture Program. “That is why the environmental
community is united with consumer advocates, food safety experts, and countless
concerned citizens in its call for the FDA to produce a full Environmental
Impact Statement before any decision about approval is made.”