Wednesday, February 13, 2013

FDA Extends Comment Period For GE Salmon

Citizens have until April to weigh in on controversial approval...
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday announced that it is extending the mandatory public comment period to formally approve genetically engineered salmon.  Originally scheduled to end on Feb. 25, 2013, the public comment period, with two documents available for comment in the Federal Register, will now close on April 26, 2013. CLICK HERE to read about the controversies surrounding the federal approval; the salmon would be the first genetically engineered food given the green light for human consumption. 

The extension is for two documents related to the approval of Massachusetts company AquaBounty Technologies’ application for AquAdvantage Salmon.   The Draft Environmental Assessment (EA)  and the preliminary Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) have already received a combined 31,458 comments online in the Federal Register docket.

"The draft EA and preliminary FONSI are one step in FDA’s evaluation of the AquAdvantage Salmon and do not indicate an approval of the application," FDA said when announcing the extension.

"The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) requires FDA and other federal agencies to perform such assessments whenever a major Federal action is taken."

FDA explains the salmon:

"AquAdvantage Salmon are Atlantic salmon that have been genetically engineered to reach a measure of growth commonly used in salmon aquaculture more rapidly than other farmed Atlantic salmon. This is commonly linked to “reaching market size” (about 2-5 kilograms or about 5-12 pounds) in less time than other farmed salmon."

CLICK HERE to read a Forbes report on the ethics "fiasco" behind FDA's decision.

*AquaAdvantage Salmon Draft Environmental Assessment {PDF} *AquAdvantage Salmon Preliminary Finding of No Significant Impact {PDF} 

>Go to the Federal Register docket to comment.