City Opposes Genetically Engineered Salmon

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City of Seattle

Councilmember Richard Conlin

City Opposes Genetically Engineered Salmon

SeattleSeattle City Council adopted a resolution today opposing the commercial production of genetically engineered (GE) salmon.  A proposal is currently before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that would allow GE salmon commercial production. The Mayor concurred with the resolution.

The City’s action supports a bipartisan coalition, supported by Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, which is seeking to ban the genetically engineered fish or require it to be labeled as transgenic. More than 400,000 fishermen, environmentalists, food safety advocates and others have written to the FDA with concerns about the FDA’s preliminary finding that this project should be allowed to proceed.

"This is a threat to the livelihood of Northwest and Alaska fishermen," said Councilmember Richard Conlin, sponsor of the resolution. "I’m also deeply concerned about potential health concerns related to consuming genetically engineered salmon.  That’s why we felt the need to act."

AquaBounty Technologies Inc., is seeking permission from the FDA to alter Atlantic salmon with genes taken from the Pacific Chinook salmon and the eel-like Ocean Pout. Adding these growth genes from other species causes fish to produce growth hormones continuously, allowing them to grow larger and faster than natural salmon.

The Swinomish Indian Tribal Community is also alarmed about this proposal. Chairman Brian Cladoosby, said, "Genetically engineered salmon pose a grave threat to the environment and to the health of the general population. We strongly believe that it would be an error for the FDA to accept the unsupported "guarantee" that all genetically engineered fish can be contained and not adversely impact people, the wild salmon species and the environment. "

"Salmon are an important part of Seattle’s environment, our heritage, and our economy," said Mayor Mike McGinn. "I stand with fishermen, environmentalists and food safety advocates to protect salmon and the public from genetic modification."

[View in Council Newsroom]