Frankenfish Redemption! (PHOTOS)
The good news is there’s actually an issue that Alaskans agree on – Red ones, Blue ones, and Tea-colored ones. And it is this: Tinkering with the genetic code of life, creating an animal that has never existed in nature, not telling people what it is, and selling it in direct competition with Alaska’s wild salmon is a really, really bad idea.
We had the opportunity to send our comments to the FDA, to tell them not to allow this unidentified, unlabeled, genetically-engineered Atlantic-Pacific-salmon-eel-hybrid on our shelves, or in our bodies.
But you forgot. The deadline came and went, and now you’re kicking yourself. The realization hit you in the face like a wet fish. And now… it’s too late.
Or so you thought!
The comment period has been extended until April 26th! You are redeemed!
To tell the FDA what you think, click here —-> www.regulations.gov. Then, search for “GE salmon.” Click “Comment Now” to submit your comments on the link that says:
“Draft Environmental Assessment and Preliminary Finding of No Significant Impact Concerning a Genetically Engineered Atlantic Salmon; Extension of Comment Period”
When we last talked about the nefarious Frankenfish, they were readying for a rally in Sitka, to coordinate with other rallies across the country.
Ray Friedlander of the Sitka Conservation Society was our Mudflats boots on the ground at the rally, and wrote about his association with local Sitka activist Paul Rioux.
For Paul, organizing a rally that would protest genetically engineered salmon was one of those ways to stand up. “I saw that there were rallies going on in other parts of the country, and I decided that it would be nice to do one here,” Paul said. Through Paul’s actions, over 130 people came to the rally, which was then publicized by Senator Murkowski, Senator Begich, and Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins. Four days after the event, the Food and Drug Administration announced they were going to extend the period to comment on genetically engineered salmon by 60 days, with the new date being April 26th, 2013. I’m certain that Sitka’s activism helped spur this extension.
To make this happen, we started small. We gained support from fishing organizations like the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association (ALFA) and the Alaska Troller’s Association (ATA), who passed the message on to their members; we held sign-making parties at the SCS office, Blatchley Middle School, and Ventures; flyers were created, posted, and handed out, featuring both information on the rally and how to submit a comment to the FDA opposing genetically engineered salmon; Raven Radio had us on their Morning Interview, where myself, Paul, and David Wilcox, a Blatchley middle school student running across the country in protest of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), discussed the negative impacts of genetically engineered salmon; both the Mudflats blog and Fish Radio with Laine Welch hosted information on the rally to raise awareness to their subscribers that the FDA was considering approving genetically engineered salmon; and the day of the event, the local news station, the Sitka Sentinel, and Raven Radiocame out to document the event, which made it on the front page of the paper. Days after the rally, Sitka’s Assembly also approved, on a 7-0 vote, a resolution stating the city’s opposition to frankenfish.
House Joint Resolution 5 was also recently introduced on the Senate Floor in Juneau. The resolution opposes the FDA’s preliminary finding related to genetically engineered salmon and opposes the production of genetically engineered salmon. HJR 5 has been referred to the Resources Committee. To listen to the first half of the session, click here.