Outdoors

Trout Unlimited wary of genetically engineered salmon

Diver Scott McNichol checks conditions inside an Atlantic salmon farming pen in Eastport, Maine. After nearly collapsing a few years ago, Maine’s salmon farming industry made a number of changes to make it healthier, more efficient and more in tune with the environment. Associated Press photos (Associated Press photos / The Spokesman-Review)
Diver Scott McNichol checks conditions inside an Atlantic salmon farming pen in Eastport, Maine. After nearly collapsing a few years ago, Maine’s salmon farming industry made a number of changes to make it healthier, more efficient and more in tune with the environment. Associated Press photos (Associated Press photos / The Spokesman-Review)
FISHERIES — Trout Unlimited officials are disturbed by this week's news that the federal Food and Drug Adminstration finds no danger in raising or eating farmed salmon genetically engineered to grow twice as fast as natural salmon.
 
Here's the statement from TU:
Trout Unlimited is concerned that the Food and Drug Administration’s ‘finding of no significant impact’ is a premature ‘green light’ for the eventual production of genetically engineered salmon for human consumption. First, we want to ensure that threats to wild salmon populations from genetically engineered salmon are understood and completely prevented, both for the protection of economically vital commercial salmon fishing industry and the growing recreational salmon fishing sector.
 
Second, we want to ensure that a more detailed environmental impact review isn’t the more appropriate process for this issue rather than a simple FDA environmental assessment, which is far less thorough (and, frankly, is the FDA the correct agency to analyze environmental impact?).
 
Third, prior to permit approval it must be clear that an effective regulatory framework exists so that impacts to wild fisheries and aquatic ecosystems are prevented, and future permit applications receive an appropriate level of scientific analysis and public scrutiny to understand and avoid environmental risk.
 
Trout Unlimited will be reviewing the environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact to see whether an adequate analysis of potential threats has been completed by the agencies with expertise in aquatic ecosystems.



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Rich Landers

Rich Landers’ Outdoors blog


Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

By Rich Landers richl@spokesman.com (509) 459-5508


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