On November 2, the FDA approved the first genetically modified food animal—an Atlantic salmon that grows twice as fast as natural salmon, thanks to the insertion of genes from Chinook salmon and eelpout (an eel-like fish). Contrary to FDA claims, the AquAdvantage® salmon is not the same as farmed salmon that has not been genetically engineered. “frankenfish” is less nutritious than normal salmon, more likely to trigger an allergy, and could increase cancer risks by raising levels of IGF-1, a hormone linked to prostate, breast and colon cancers in humans. Currently, the only states where GMO salmon will have to be labeled are Alaska and Vermont. But those laws could be wiped out by a last-minute “sneak attack” rider to the appropriations bill preempting states from enacting laws on any foods containing GMOs, including frankenfish. The FDA is talking out of both sides of its mouth with this twisted decision. First, the FDA regulates GMO salmon as a drug, not a food—”because the recombinant DNA (rDNA) construct introduced into the animal meets the definition of a drug.” Then shouldn’t this new “drug” be labeled? But it won’t be, because out of the other side of the FDA’s mouth, it has declared GMO salmon to be nutritionally equivalent to conventional farm-raised Atlantic salmon.
A citizens’ tribunal will investigate Monsanto for “crimes against nature and humanity.” Agrochemical giant Monsanto will be investigated by a tribunal of environmentalists, activists, and scientists next year against charges of “ecocide”. The citizens’ trial was announced at a press conference on December 3 in Paris, to tie in with the UN Conference on Climate Change. The Monsanto Tribunal Trial is scheduled for October 12-16, 2016, in The Hague, Netherlands, with the final day falling on World Food Day. The Tribunal, a crowd-funded group will evaluate allegations made against Monsanto with regards to damage caused to the environment and human health. Regardless of the outcome, they won’t be able to sentence or charge the agriculture giant. Supporters say the trial is more than just a symbolic act, with the larger goal of establishing ‘ecocide’ as a crime for the first time. The assumption is that if the tribunal can raise enough evidence to support allegations against Monsanto, a criminal court may decide to pursue the matter further.