Statement by Ronald L. Stotish, Ph.D., President and CEO of AquaBounty Technologies
Young/Woolsey Amendment to Prohibit Funding for FDA Approval of AquAdvantage Salmon Wrong on Facts, Policy and Process
WALTHAM, Mass., June 16, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Background: The U.S. House of Representatives yesterday passed an amendment to H.R. 2112, the House agricultural appropriations bill, co-sponsored by Rep. Don Young (R-AK) and Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) to prohibit funding for U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of salmon grown from AquaBounty Technologie’s AquAdvantage salmon eggs. The amendment was voted on by fewer than ten of the total 435 House members.
The U.S. FDA has conducted a rigorous 15-year review of thousands of pages of data and has concluded that these fish are exactly the same as any other Atlantic salmon and, therefore, are safe for consumption. In addition, the fish will be sterile and required to be grown in self-contained inland tanks, so pose no threat to the environment. Finally, the United Nations reports that the wild caught fisheries are severely stressed, with major food species potentially extinct by 2050, yet the demand for fish protein is exploding worldwide. America currently imports more than 97% of the Atlantic salmon consumed here, so Young et al are really supporting foreign salmon producers.
“This outrageous action is wrong on the facts, wrong on the process and wrong on the policy. A handful of representatives have 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.”
SOURCE AquaBounty Technologies