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Approps Amendment Sets a Dangerous Precedent

AquaBounty's AquAdvantage Salmon

A number of media outlets including the New York Times reported on the June 15 vote on the House floor to deny funding for authorization of the genetically engineered AquAdvantage salmon.

In response, BIO President and CEO Jim Greenwood admonished the action for setting a dangerous and inappropriate precedent.

“This amendment does a grave disservice to our Government’s science-based regulatory system. President Obama has called for America to lead on new technologies so as to foster new industries, more jobs and enhanced economic benefit. This amendment would present new barriers to achieving that goal.

“Allowing politicians to substitute their judgment for that of scientific experts within the Food and Drug Administration circumvents a comprehensive and well-established approval process, and sets a dangerous precedent for the development of any policies related to food production and human health.

“When it comes to the food we eat and serve our families, accredited scientific experts – not politicians – need to make all determinations about safety and health.”

Dr. Ronald Stotish, President and CEO of AquaBounty Technologies said that the House action is “wrong on facts, policy and process.”

“This outrageous action is wrong on the facts, wrong on the process and wrong on the policy. A handful of representatives has chosen to subvert the FDA’s rigorous 15-year plus process. It completely ignores the results of a rigorous scientific review. This sort of political gamesmanship undermines the science-based system that protects the nation’s health and safety. It is astonishing that Young and a few colleagues would try to game the system in this way.”

Whether or not you support this transgenic salmon, we should all agree these types of shenanigans have no place in a complex scientific debate. These actions threaten the fundamental basis of a science-based regulatory process. Americans deserve better from their elected representatives.”

Ronald Bailey, science correspondent for Reason magazine and Reason.com posts on his blog, “Damn Science and Consumer Interests!”

“The ridiculously hypercautious Food and Drug Administration has slowly inched towards approving the sale of farm-raised biotech salmon developed by AquaBounty. The biotech salmon have a gene from other fish species installed that enables them to grow faster using about 10 percent less feed than regular farm-raised salmon. Already aquaculture provides 50 percent of the fish that people eat around the world. Enhancing farmed fish production could relieve pressure on the world’s already way overfished wild fisheries.”

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