Sign Petition: Say "NO" To So-called GMO "Frankenfish"

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Top photo: Scene from Frankenfish the movie -- will it get to that one day?

[Speaking Truth To Power]Food safety groups and environmental organizations are petitioning retail chain company Costco to reject the selling of a genetically engineered fish—while, the Food and Drug Administration considers an application that would approve that fish for public consumption.

But the real concern is: are genetically modified “foods” (GMO’s) safe to eat?  Or, are the health concerns being downplayed by companies like Monsanto because of blind greed?

In a recent letter to Costco CEO Craig Jelinek, several groups including: The Center for Food Safety, Food and Water Watch and Consumers Union, advocated that Costco refuse to sell the so-called “Frankenfish,” a salmon made with genetically modified organisms. According to The Center for Food Safety, some 80,000 signatures have been recorded in the effort to stop the shelving of the “Frankenfish” salmon. The Center has a petition drive.

As one of the largest retailers of salmon and seafood in the U.S., Costco should have a strong policy on this important issue, I urge Costco to join these other leaders in making a commitment to not sell GE salmon,” the letter states. The FDA is currently considering a proposal to approve AquaBounty Technologies’ genetically modified salmon—which is said to grow twice as large in the normal time.

Some in Congress are voicing concern over the AquaBounty Technologies proposal. “I don't believe that the FDA has adequately studied the environmental effects, the economic impacts, not only on the wild salmon themselves, but our seafood markets, and let alone the potential health impact on humans,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) recently.

FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said the Food and Drug Administration is reviewing thousands of letters and comments on the proposal. “We're going through those comments, taking them very seriously,” said Hamburg.  “And you know we will be moving forward in a deliberate, science-driven way reflecting all of the important inputs including obviously the perspective that you brought forward today and earlier as we consider this product application.”

The secret rise of genetically modified foods—or, “organisms”—is one of the most underreported stories that represents a clear potential danger to the health and welfare of the public at large. Many people are already eating these products unaware whatsoever of the issue of how these “foods” are made. Leading the charge with making these things is the Monsanto Corporation based in Missouri.

Some sources say genetically modified foods pose no new risks to health than normal conventional foods. However, that claim is hard to square especially given the out-of-control profit motives that drives companies like Monsanto—the major player in the rise of genetically-modified foods. Moreover, the “engineering” of mixing and developing hybrid foods that combine vegetable cells with animal cells is something we should all think long and hard about.

There are many things to consider carefully with these foods. One major concern should be the combining of foods from the plant family with those from the animal world. Should we not have serious concerns about the consequences of this sort of food manufacturing—and the possible negative health impact it may have on the consuming public? Shouldn’t there be a national—and international—conversation about these new methods of food production being implemented, largely, by major multinational agribusiness corporations?

For example, there exists what is called a “fish tomato,” which is a tomato engineered using cells from cold water fishes—like the Winter Flounder. The idea here was to create a tomato which wouldn’t spoil easily in cold temperatures. Fishes like the Winter Flounder have anti-freeze proteins in their bodies—and GMO manufacturers decided this could help them develop a tomato that would be resistant to frost.

Here we should ask this: are profit-driven considerations blinding big business from making healthy decisions regarding these “engineered” foods?

Another serious matter is: the fact that experiments have being conducted to examine the viability of using these foods to deliver vaccines and the like. Reportedly, clinical trials have been done—using tomatoes, bananas, potatoes and some other plants—to test if these foods can administer vaccines for things like: Hepatitis, HIV and Alzheimer’s. More and more people are now questioning the use of vaccines—with some alleging that vaccines cause more health harms that they prevent. For example, some claim there is a connection between vaccines and Autism in children.

Are foods really a proper means of administering things like vaccines into the bodies of humans? Moreover, if businesspeople and governments decide to embark on projects like this, shouldn’t the public be educated and advised about these momentous decisions which will influence the future health of all people on the planet? Shouldn’t agribusiness corporations—like Monsanto—be required to tell us just what they are feeding us?

Unfortunately, the situation in America is far worse than that. Here we don’t even know when we may have consumed GMO “food.” This is because the GMO giants have been able to prevent the labeling of these genetically-modified organisms. Aren’t these the type of products that should be regulated and properly labeled?

In California, Prop 37, which would have mandated labeling was narrowly defeated in 2012.

Agribusiness heavy-weights like Monsanto seem to be buying out and bullying politicians—who so far have been resistant to calls by some Americans to label all GMO products. Some argue this is unfair to corporations—who they say might lose money because of the labeling. Don’t people have the right to know what they are eating? Shouldn’t they be able to decide if they want to eat these kinds of foods or not? Don’t they care about the customers who may get sick—or die—because of their “foods?”

By refusing to label these goods, American politicians are, in effect, forcing us to eat these products. This current attitude displays their disregard for the right of the people to decide for themselves. Politicians must be pressured to pass legislation to make mandatory the labelabelingse foods.

Regardless of what GMO apologists say much more testing and studying of GMO foods is required—before they can claim GMO’s safe. Another troubling aspect of GMO foods is the fact that some undergo heavy pesticide exposure. Even worse, some of these “foods” can also be registered as pesticides.

Anytime something you eat can be patented as a pesticide, you should worry. For example Monsanto has produced a corn known as “Frankencorn”—which, is patented with an insecticide that is produced within the corn itself. Some studies found that this insecticide is absorbed into the blood of humans—including in pregnant women. Unfortunately, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) and EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) have done little or nothing to study—much less impede—the actions of greedy corporations like Monsanto.

Besides being an agricultural producer, Monsanto is also chemical company. In fact, they have produced poisonous products such as: PCB’s, a chemical compound used in many products including several types of engine oils, lubricants, coolants—and in plastics; DDT an allegedly dangerous insecticide; and Agent Orange, a defoliant—which was used in the Vietnam War.

The American public must become more aware of the rise, and dangers, of genetically-modified foods—and of companies like Monsanto, who’ve been trying to secretly flood the food market with their products.



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