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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Aquaculture' Category


FDA Moves Forward on Genetically Engineered Salmon

(Beyond Pesticides, January 3, 2012) On December 21, just as everyone was gearing up for the holidays, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced its release of a Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) and Preliminary Finding of No Significant Impact on the genetically engineered (GE) AquaBounty AquaAdvantage salmon. The FDA action is widely viewed as confirmation that the Obama Administration is prepared to approve shortly the first GE animal intended for human consumption in the face of widespread opposition from the public. “It is extremely disappointing that the Obama Administration continues to push approval of this dangerous and unnecessary product,” said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director for Center for Food Safety. “The GE salmon has no socially redeeming value; it’s bad for the consumer, bad for the salmon industry and bad for the environment. FDA’s decision is premature and misguided.” AquaBounty claims that the company’s process for raising GE fish is safer than traditional aquaculture, yet documents released by the Canadian government show that a new strain of Infectious Salmon Anaemia, the deadly fish flu which has been devastating fish stocks around the world, contaminated their Canadian production site. This information was not included in the FDA’s review and hidden from […]



Petitioners Press FDA to Complete Environmental Impact Statement on GE Salmon

(Beyond Pesticides, June 11, 2012) More than one year after petitioning the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to complete a mandatory environmental impact statement on the first-ever genetically engineered (GE) fish intended for human consumption, Earthjustice has submitted a letter on behalf of its co-petitioners urging the agency to meet its obligation promptly. The letter points out that FDA is prohibited from acting on the application to raise and release into commerce genetically engineered salmon until the agency has completed a comprehensive environmental risk assessment on the fish. Earthjustice filed the petition on May 25, 2011 along with Ocean Conservancy, Friends of the Earth, Center for Food Safety, Food & Water Watch, the Center for International Environmental Law, and Greenpeace. In addition to reminding FDA of its obligation to complete the risk assessment, the petitioners also ask the agency to improve its process for reviewing these kinds of applications to commercialize GE animals to address environmental threats and public concerns at a much earlier stage. FDA has held off on taking decisive action on the application from Massachusetts-based AquaBounty Technologies, which has been seeking approval to sell its GE salmon product in the U.S. for more than a decade. […]



Private Canadian Organic Aquaculture Standard Released

(Beyond Pesticides, May 11, 2012) The Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) has released the final version of the Canadian Organic Aquaculture Standard, a non-binding system for certifying farmed fish outside of official Canadian organic standards. The final standard is a revised form of a draft standard first proposed in 2010, which was subject to severe criticism from environmental advocates. The standard has been developed independently of Canadian organic standards for agriculture and is not currently included in official government regulations regarding organic agriculture. The release comes less than two weeks before the U.S. National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will meet to discuss, among other topics, the ongoing process of developing a standard for organic aquaculture in the United States. The new standard was developed by under the auspices of the Canadian National Standards Board and is purely voluntary. In Canada, as in the U.S., fish are are explicitly excluded from federal organic regulations. This means that there can be no official, government-approved organic fish in either country currently. However, this also means that there is nothing stopping private entities from creating their own standard for certifying fish as “organic” according to whatever definition they choose. The fish can then be […]



New Rule on Conventional Aquaculture Raises Concern for Environment, Organic Standards

(Beyond Pesticides, June 16, 2011) The Department of Commerce, along with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Fisheries Service, announced late last week a final aquaculture policy which would ease restrictions to make it easier to farm fish in federal waters, drawing criticism from environmental groups due to the harmful environmental impacts of raising fish in pens in open waters. According to Food and Water Watch, offshore aquaculture follows an industrial agriculture model which grows thousands of animals in a confined environment. For fish, however, this confined space is in the ocean, meaning all of the waste products from the operation flow directly into the ocean. This includes excess feed and chemicals that are used, such as antibiotics and pesticides, to treat or prevent disease that occurs when fish are in confinement. Another major concern is the possibility of escaped farmed fish, which can compete with and interbreed with wild fish. Though the Department of Commerce and NOAA are pushing these new policies as a way to “meet the growing demand for healthy seafood,” factory fish farming, as Food and Water Watch points out, is primarily focused on carnivorous fish including salmon and tuna. These carnivorous fish require a […]