FRANKENFISH AND IDLE NO MORE
Am I reaching here? To suggest that the IDLE NO MORE movement might have some clout in stopping the introduction of GMO fish (Genetically Modified fish) into our Canadian food supplies? I don’t think so. Anyway, I have exhausted other avenues that might draw attention to this possibility that is now rapidly turning into a probability. The US is pushing GMO fish ever closer to our dinner tables. From the New York Times (Dec. 21, 2012):”The US Food and Drug Administration said it had concluded that the salmon (GMO) would have no significant impact on the environment.”
What does this mean? It means that the Obama administration will probably approve the raising of GMO fish (dubbed FRANKENFISH by the US press) for human consumption. So will Canada follow suit? Oh yes. The odd thing is, Frankenfish was born in Canada and some of the fish actually reside now in West Vancouver in a containment facility, presided over by the Canadian Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans. And Frankenfish were first developed in two Canadian universities, Queens University in Ontario, and Memorial University in Newfoundland. The experiments in using growth hormones and a genetic switch from an ocean Pout, an eel like creature, as explained in the New York Times article, were first carried on in these Canadian universities. From there the process was patented and passed along to AquaBounty, a private US firm.
AquaBounty also confirms Canada’s further connections with promoting Frankenfish on their web page:
“The goal of producing faster growing Atlantic Salmon for the commercial food market is well on its way at AquaBounty Farms, a research facility located in Fortune, Prince Edward Island.” In response to my inquires the Canadian government denied there was any material from the Pout introduced into the FrankenFish, or any other eel. There was also no answer to my point that it is against Canadian law to introduce any animal life form into the country that is not found in nature. But if GMO fish were found in nature how any university, or government, or private company could get a patent? And how can Canada, as one of the founding fathers of the FrankenFish claim they are not breaking the law?
The scariest element of all, in my opinion, is the possibility of FrankenFish escaping into the wild and breeding with other fish. The Canadian government says it can’t happen, they would just be too careful for this to happen and even if it did, the fish are sterilized. Other agencies say not all of the fish are perfectly sterilized and can breed, and will compete with the wild fish for food and habitat (Purdue University and The National Academy of Sciences, for example). And the other tricky thing about escaped FrankenFish…will it be like Monsanto claiming that even if the wind did blow their seeds onto an innocent farmer’s field, they must pay Monsanto anyway? Could this wind up with Monsanto claiming half the fish in the ocean that showed any sign of the FrankenFish chromosome?
I had wild hopes in the US election that California’s Prop. 37, a bill that that would have made it mandatory in the state to label GMO products, would pass. The food companies (Monsanto, DuPont , Dow Agrosciences, BASF) spent over twenty five million dollars defeating the bill. How was this money spent? On ads advising poor people that their grocery bills would sky rocket and they wouldn’t be able to feed their children. And there are a lot of poor people in California. So FrankenFish certainly won that round. I have appealed to the Canadian Biotechnology Network to make GMO fish a priority in their programs, but I don’t think that worked, either. I also appealed to that stalwart defender of wild salmon, Alexandra Morton, but she didn’t reply. I had hoped that she could be convinced that the biggest threat to wild salmon in the long run, are GMO salmon. I have written countless letters, blogs, and facebook postings trying to draw attention to this most grievous threat. But my powers of persuasion are obviously lacking. So it is with much hope and humbleness that I turn to the people of IDLE NO MORE to understand…
WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHINGABOUT THESE ARTIFICIAL FISH, THESE GENETIC MONSTERS, THESE CRIMES AGAIN CREATION, THESE POTENTIAL DESTROYERS OF OUR OCEANS ECOLOGY AND THE SWEET WILD FISH THAT FEED US!! SOMETHING! WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING! SOON!