Senator Murkowski and a number of other senators have filed an amendment to the FDA reauthorization bill that would make it mandatory that NMFS have a say in the approval of GE salmon. In addition. it would allow for a public process - that does not now exist - so real people can review and comment on this issue. If this amendment does not pass, these things will not happen.
The amendment may be voted on tomorrow. We need your help! Here's how...
A. If you are a commercial fishermen, have a fishing related business, or are the operator of a lodge or charter boat (yep, we know there's lurkers on this board=), please read the letter below. If you would like to sign on, send me a private message with your name, title, business/vessel name, physical address and email address. Currently there are about 25 businesses onboard - from Alaska to Maine. You might give a call to your fishing gear group rep and see if they have signed on!
If you think you missed the deadline, not to worry. The issue is far from over. If you support the letter below, send me your information anyway and we'll amend the letter and contact you next time.
Please note that we are accomodating a specific request that the sign on letter be specific to fishing businesses. If you are not a fishing business, read on.
B. If you are an individual who cares about healthy food and wild salmon and/or represent an environmental group, or just have a concern and some spare time on your hands, please contact your US Senator and ask them to support Senator Murkowski's amendment to S. 3187.
You can contact your Senators by dialing 202-224-3121 to reach the Capitol operator, then ask to be put through to your senator's office(s). Another good way is to go to your senator's website and see if they have a link or email to provide comments.
Thanks for any help you can lend. It's important that our food be safe and the evaluation process transparent and confidence building. As it stands, GE approval has been anything but!
Keep safe out there...
The undersigned groups and individuals strongly support amending S. 3187 to prohibit Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of genetically engineered fish unless the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) concurs with such approval.
There is currently no science-based review process specific to genetically engineered (GE) salmon or any other GE animal. Key agencies lack authority to review and make decisions regarding approval of GE salmon. There is also no way for the public to be sufficiently informed about the safety and wholesomeness of this strange product, or to provide input on anticipated impacts.
The FDA has evaluated GE salmon as it would an animal drug, which limits involvement by the agencies specifically charged with protecting fisheries resources and habitats. Of the data that has been released, sample sizes were often small, leading to confusion about whether or not questions of public health and environmental safety have been fully vetted.
We encourage you to insist that appropriate agencies conduct adequate science on genetically engineered salmon. When those results are in, and FDA and the appropriate fisheries agencies agree the animal is safe to eat and produce, we ask that the public be given the information and a chance to review and comment. This should occur before the final decision is made. Senator Murkowski's amendment will help achieve these goals.
The U.S. has always been an innovator, but with innovation comes responsibility. Engineering fish and animals is a revolutionary under-taking that demands caution and thorough assessment. The public has repeatedly expressed concern about GE salmon-- poll after poll reveals discomfort amongst broad sectors of the population. Please do not allow the race to produce new technology overwhelm the necessity to careful evaluate risks and long-term impacts.
Sound policy must be applied to good science to derive the best decisions for the public. Senator Murkowski's amendment provides a public process to study the issue, analyze benefits and risks, and engage the public in an important discussion about the food they eat. We respectfully request your support for this critical amendment.
ATA and Friends