Genetically Engineered Salmon

PEI is at the epicentre of an international discussion on Genetically Engineered Salmon. Aqua Bounty Technologies a US company, is awaiting approval to produce Genetically Engineered Salmon eggs in a facility in Fortune, PEI. These eggs would then be shipped to facilities in Panama to be hatched and raised and later make their way into the food markets of the United States. In December of 2012, the US Food and Drug Administration released its Environmental Assessment of the Transgenic Salmon, and opened up a comment period. While many believed formal approval would come immediately after this comment period, the FDA has extended this comment period due to an overwhelming amount of submitted comments. The comment period will now end sometime in April 2013.  

The PEI Citizens Alliance is adding its voice to the growing list of Canadian organizations supporting the BioTechnology Action Network's call for the Canadian Government to 'protect the health and future of our food system and our aquatic ecosytems'. We believe that this issue has such broad implications that our federal and provincial governments have an obligation to engage the public on a much greater level. From product labelling, to food security, from ethical issues surrounding GM/GE food to protection of wild fish populations, this topic has not been fully explored and demands a discussion in which all Canadians can participate.

From the Canadian BioTechnology Action Network website: "A summary of AquaBounty’s environmental assessment released by the US Food and Drug Administration on September 3, 2010, revealed that the company is not requesting approval to produce the GE Atlantic salmon in the US but intends instead to produce all the GE salmon eggs on Prince Edward Island, then ship the eggs to Panama for growing-out and processing, for export into the US consumer market as 'table-ready' fish. The company is assuming it will be granted approval by Environment Canada to produce GE salmon eggs on PEI. AquaBounty says it is now preparing to also ask Health Canada to approve the GE salmon for human consumption here."

This is not just an issue for the United States, this is an issue that affects all of us, as Canadians, as consumers and as food producers. Prince Edward Island may be at a crossroads between a vision that includes organic/small-scale/diversified farms and one that includes large-scale farms/genetically modified or engineered food. It is now more important then ever to engage Islanders and be sure we all have a say on the path our government choses, the path our government supports. 

For additional background information on Gentically Engineered Salmon click here to visit the Canadian BioTechnology Action Network website.


LINKS
https://www.facebook.com/IslandersSayNoToFrankenfish?fref=ts
PEI non-profit organization whose objective is to pressure the PEI government into banning the production of GM salmon, including GM salmon eggs, in PEI.

https://www.facebook.com/no.frack.pei
Community group wanting to stop Oil and Natural Gas companies from Fracking on PEI