Is your fish GMO?

Last December, the FDA caved to industry pressure and approved GMO salmon for introduction to the food supply.

It’s not in stores yet, but when it is, shouldn’t you have a right to know whether you’re eating it?

The FDA has proposed voluntary labeling for GMO salmon. But “voluntary labeling” almost always translates to “no labeling,” keeping consumers in the dark about what they’re eating and feeding their families.

The FDA is accepting comments on this labeling policy until this Monday, January 25. Tell them labels need to be required, not optional.

FDA’s proposal is in the form of a guidance document, and normally we would not urge you to take the time to comment on a non-binding guidance document – particularly since FDA has so consistently refused to require labeling.

But the issue of GMO salmon is unusual because even Congress has weighed in to support mandatory labels.  At the end of last year, Congress expressed disapproval of the FDA’s decision not to require labels and even included a provision in the annual spending bill that called for GMO salmon labels to be mandatory.

The Congressional language is only temporary and would have to renewed again at the end of this year in order to be effective. But the simple fact that Congress spoke on this issue creates significant pressure for FDA to require labeling of GMO salmon – and you need to add your voice!

Grassroots pressure kept FDA from approving this salmon for 5 years. We need to keep up the fight to reverse that approval. And in the meantime, if this salmon makes it to the store shelves, it needs to be labeled so that consumers can decide for themselves if they want to eat it.

Thanks for taking action!

TAKE ACTION

You can submit your comment online here

Deadline: Monday, January 25, 2016 at 11:59 pm Eastern

Sample comment:

 {Start with a personal sentence or two – who are you and why this matters to you}

 I urge FDA to require mandatory labels for genetically engineered salmon. Corporations shouldn’t get to control what I know about my food. GMO salmon is not the same as natural salmon, and consumers have a right to choose whether or not they want to buy it.

 

ADDITIONAL TALKING POINTS

 

Your comments to FDA can be very short – the paragraph in our sample letter, along with one or two personalized sentences, is plenty. If you want some ideas for additional talking points, consider these:

 

  • Individuals have health concerns about the increased levels of growth hormones in this GMO fish, and particularly may want to avoid feeding it to young children.
  • Even the company’s own studies showed a 20 to 50 percent increased allergenic potential. With the growing epidemic of food allergies in our country, it’s vital that people are able to identify foods that could cause reactions ranging from mild to life-threatening.
  • The FDA used the fiction that the genetically engineered salmon was actually a “drug” in order to limit public participation in the approval process – how can they now claim that people don’t even need to know if they’re consuming this “drug”?
  • Canadian government scientists also found this GMO salmon are more susceptible to disease-causing bacteria, which means that they will most likely be fed even more antibiotics than typical farmed fish.
  • If GMO salmon truly provides benefits, then producers are free to promote those; but they should not be allowed to effectively deceive consumers into buying this product through silence. Voluntary labeling sanctioned by the FDA will only lead to more distrust of the agency by American consumers.