Senate to Discuss Genetically Engineered Salmon

On Thursday, the U.S. Senate plans to hold a hearing on the environmental risks of genetically modified salmon
 Senate to Discuss Genetically Engineered Salmon

Genetically engineered salmon have been the subject of hot debate for months now. In July, a team of senators led by Mark Begich and Lisa Murkowski petitioned the FDA to cease its consideration of approving AquAdvantage salmon for importation, growth, and consumption in the United States. On Thursday, December 15, at 10:30AM EST, the United States Senate Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard will be holding a hearing in which they’ll take a good look at the risks involved in approving genetically engineered salmon and other similar fish.

According to an official statement from the Senate, the hearing will address some important questions on the topic, including “environmental safety issues surrounding genetically engineered fish, focusing on possible risks to wild fish stocks, fisheries and aquatic ecosystems should these fish escape into wild habitats.”




A variety of witnesses will be on hand to represent equally varied interests and give insight into issues like what points must be considered to properly assess potential dangers and whether there’s a way to minimize risk. At the moment, the witness panel includes:

  • Dr. Ron Stotish 
    President and CEO, AquaBounty Technologies, Inc.
  • Dr. John Epifanio 
    Illinois Natural History Survey
  • Mr. Paul Greenberg 
    Journalist and Author
  • Dr. George Leonard 
    Aquaculture Program Director, Ocean Conservancy

As President and CEO of AquaBounty Technologies, it’s only natural that Stotish has been outspoken in his support of GE salmon on numerous occasions. In response to the petition to the FDA in July, he released a statement to the effect that any worry about AquAdvantage salmon is based in paranoia and not fact. Others on the panel have been equally outspoken in the other direction – Paul Greenberg, for example, has both written and spoken extensively in opposition of genetically engineered farmed salmon. Bringing these different viewpoints together should give the Senate and the FDA a bounty of food for thought as they make their eventual decision. For those who wish to tune in, the Senate notes that the hearing will be broadcast live via webcast on the Senate Commerce Committee website


[VIA: Food Safety News]

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