from Fish News
PROTEST rally is being planned in front of the White House in a bid to persuade President Obama to halt approval of the first genetically engineered salmon for human consumption.
The Center for Food Safety, Food & Water Watch and Friends of the Earth are leading the rally and press conference scheduled for tomorrow Thursday afternoon September 16, at 3.15pm EDT.
Protesters say that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are expected to decide whether to approve the controversial product – Aquabounty’s genetically engineered (GE) salmon – at a series of remote hearings in Rockville, Md. this Sunday through to Monday.
The rally organisers say they are mounting the protest because they claim the FDA’s approval process is designed to limit public knowledge and participation and because approval of the GE salmon would jeopardise environmental and consumer health.
* They add: “In assessing the impact of GE salmon on consumers and the environment, the FDA admitted that, ‘Primary deference was given to controlled studies submitted by ABT (AquaBounty Technologies – the company producing the salmon.)’
* “No long-term or independent studies have been conducted to assess the human health risks associated with eating transgenic fish.
* “Despite AquaBounty’s claim to produce only sterile salmon, up to 5 percent of their genetically engineered salmon eggs could be fertile (and could therefore breed with wild populations), prompting the FDA to label their claims “potentially misleading”.
* “A large part of AquaBounty’s success hinges on GE salmon. The company has invested $50 million in the product, while posting zero sales and almost five million dollars in net losses in 2009.”
The rally and press conference will be held in front of the White House (near Lafayette Park) in Washington, DC.
– Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director, Food & Water Watch
– Jostein Solheim, CEO, Ben & Jerry’s
– Jaydee Hanson, Senior Policy Analyst, Center for Food Safety
– Eric Hoffman, Biotechnology Policy Expert, Friends of the Earth