Lynn Swearingen (c) copyright 2010 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

If one is going to make the statement that Genetically Modified Food is safe to consume in an AP article, then one should utilize studies that actually discuss that issue – right? Well according to the above article – which strings together various individuals statements both supporting and opposing consumption of GMO’s – that is not necessarily the case:

David Ervin of Portland State University in Oregon, who chaired the committee that wrote the report, said it found no large-scale environmental risks associated with the current genetically engineered corn, cotton and soybeans in the United States. As for future crops, “you just have to be very cautious,” depending on the nature of the plants, he says.

The report, which did not consider health impacts of eating genetically engineered crops, did recommend large-scale studies of ecological effects of such crops, Ervin said.

Including in the opening paragraphs is this statement:

Scientists have already determined that it is safe to eat. They are weighing other factors, including environmental risks, after two days of intense hearings.

I’d like to point out an Opinion Poll with some really valid comments/questions put forward. Over 70% of the individuals who chose to participate in this poll did not give a blanket “Yes – I’d chow down on GMO Salmon”. Questions raised included everything from concerns over hormones, eel DNA inserts, FDA truthfulness, environmental changes, population control, and some “interesting” facts thrown in to keep everyone guessing.

Of course depending on the Alphabet agencies to actually read the studies in reference to this issue is like expecting Congress to actually read the bills before they are voted on. Why should these “blue panelled committees” read about the issues when the ambiguous “Scientific Staff” has already chewed up and spit out the “facts” in digested form? In my world digestion produces fecal matter, not unlike the “facts” which are being sprayed about up on the Hill.

For a bit more in-depth study by an independent researcher, one might want to review this article from Michael Greger M.D.. A few of the choicer tidbits of information:

The FDA notes evidence of  “increased frequency of skeletal malformations, and increased prevalence of jaw erosions and multisystemic, focal inflammation” in the tissues of AquAdvantage Salmon.  However, the FDA dismisses these findings as “within the range observed in rapid growth phenotypes of non-genetically engineered Atlantic salmon.” In other words, the abnormalities they found were no worse than those currently plaguing farmed salmon genetically manipulated for accelerated growth through other means.2

or how about:

Ironically, the biotech company that invented AquAdvantage Salmon argues that the list of health disorders their fish suffer from could be seen as an advantage in that “any escapees from containment would be less capable of surviving.”2 These genetically modified fish grow at such a rate that the metabolic demands might help preclude their survival in nature, make them less likely to create ecological havoc should they escape into the wild.

A more humorous take on the issue, if there can be one, is seen in this article from Field and Stream in which they refer to the Boston-based AquaBounty “Dan Aykroyd” method of scientific study. Worth reading if just for the comments.

The last question that I would like to pose – “If GMO Salmon is a non-issue and Americans are willing to consume it, why the block on labeling it as such?” When I personally sell products to a consumer, I am proud to explain to them in a precise manner how it is grown and what it contains.

According to David Edwards, director of animal biotechnology at the Biotechnology Industry Organization (whose Board and Members read like a “Who’s Who” in Government, AgriBusiness and BioFreakenomics) :

“Extra labeling only confuses the consumer,” or “As we stick more labels on products that don’t really tell us anything more, it makes it harder for consumers to make their choices.”

Really? This consumer does not have an issue making the decision to not consume GMO Salmon based on the fact that a “Scientific Study” drawn from only 6 salmon is not very convincing. In fact if this proposal goes through, I will not consume any Salmon just as I currently consume no dairy products not produced on my farm due to the lack of rBGH labeling.

What say you?