Lynn Swearingen (c) copyright 2010 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Eleven US Senators have signed a letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg urging the agency to find another way to assess the safety of genetically engineered (GE) salmon.

The letter to Hamburg claims that the FDA is using an inappropriate process to assess the salmon’s safety and asks the agency to “halt all proceedings”, saying that potential human health and environmental impacts have not been fully or openly reviewed.

“One of the most serious concerns regarding AquaBounty’s application is the FDA has no adequate process to review a GE animal intended as a human food product,” the letter said.

“FDA is considering this GE fish through its process for reviewing a new drug to be used by animals, not for creation of a new animal, especially one intended for human consumption. Clearly, this is inappropriate.”

The lawmakers who signed the letter to the FDA were Sen. Begich (D-AK), Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), Sen. Bernard Sanders (D-VT), Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT).

In a parallel move, Congressmen Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), and Mike Thompson (D-CA) led 24 members of the House of Representatives in signing a similar letter to Hamburg asking the FDA to halt the approval process.

If one is a constituent of any of these Legislators and approves of their action, one might consider contacting them to support this action. We may not agree with the rest of their policies, but encouraging intensive long-term studies on this issue just might delay to process until real data can be collected.

One could also encourage them to delay the voting on S 510 until a GAO (Government Accounting Office) review can be asked for and completed.

Gridlock is the latest power of the Citizen.