CALIFORNIA DREAMING AND ALEXANDRA MORTON
Yes, many in the state of California are dreaming of passing Proposition no. 37 on Tuesday that would require mandatory labeling of food that contains Genetically Modified materials. At least it’s on the ballot and if passed could mean a breakthrough in the murderous hold that food companies have over our food. The food companies (Monsanto, DuPont, Dow Agrosciences and BASF to name a few) have spent over twenty five million dollars to try to defeat Proposition 37. Many of us in Canada would welcome such a bill as we are increasingly worried about GM products, especially GM corn. The corn syrup from GM corn seems to be in a myriad of products on grocery shelves. But in my opinion, the most monstrous GM horror show is yet to unfold. This horror show will start with the go ahead from the US for fish farms to start raising Genetically Modified Salmon for human consumption in the US and elsewhere.
Dr. Alexandria Morton, we need you on this issue. Your concern for the health of wild salmon has made you an international hero and I am one of your most ardent fans. You accomplished an incredible feat in exposing the evils of the fish farms that pass sea lice and a lethal fish disease to wild fish that are migrating out to sea. British Columbians owe you an enormous debt. But this genetically modified salmon business poses a threat to wild salmon that could prove to be worse in the future than the on-going threats you have already uncovered. Fish farms in the US, Canada and elsewhere have been waiting for the US government to give approval that FrankenFish (as GMO fish are called by the US press) are okay for the market. Canada raises the GMO eggs on the east coast and may soon be shipping them all over the world.
Lucy Sharrett, coordinator of Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, said she was caught off guard by the news that once the US gives the go ahead, Frankenfish fish eggs could start rolling out of Bay Fortune in Prince Edward Island headed for fish farms all over the world (CBC News Oct.27.) Sharrett said this increases the risk of GMO salmon escaping into the wild.
I am somewhat surprised that Sharritt was caught off guard by AquaBounty’s plans. They certainly weren’t kept a secret. AquaBounty people have been all over the place trying to allay public fears on GMO salmon as they are expecting soon to get the okay from the US authorities to start producing Frankenfish and their eggs. And Canada will play a major role in this. The FrankenFish was born in Canada, in Canadian universities (Queen’s university and Memorial University in Newfoundland) and patented; the patent eventually winding up in the grips of AquaBounty.
AquaBounty downplays the danger that escaped Frankenfish could mate with wild salmon. In my opinion it is similar to anticipated oil spills should Enbridge go through…it’s not a question of “if” but “when”. And when this happens would it be like Monsanto suing farmers because GM crops blew over into their fields from a neighbouring farm? If a wild salmon could be shown to possess some of the GMO genes no matter who caught them, would these salmon then belong to AguaBounty? Is it possible that AquaBounty could wind up claiming a large portion of the wild salmon in the sea?
Dr. Alexandra Morton, please hear our plea. There is no other agency in Canada aware enough, acknowledgeable enough or who cares enough to take this on except you and your Salmon people. Please call them. We cannot let this happen.