You may have heard that the USDA awarded a hefty research grant to AquaBounty, the “Frankenfish” creator. But there is more to the story….
What you may not have heard is that the award came just as the company was facing major financial troubles. This was a bailout. And there are more GMO threats in our future coming to the produce area of our supermarket aisles.
In September, the US Department of Agriculture awarded $494,000 to AquaBounty to study technologies that would make their genetically engineered Atlantic salmon sterile, so it couldn’t mate with non-GMO salmon. AquaBounty’s current sterilization technology hasn’t proved 100% effective. On its face, the USDA grant was intended to remove one of environmentalists’ biggest objections to the GE salmon, marketed under the name AquAdvantage, although inter-species breeding is not the only known problem. The GE fish may also be significantly more allergenic than natural salmon among other issues.
It’s bad enough that government is in bed with industry and cannot possibly be objective in the review and approval process. But it is also noteworthy that the infusion of nearly half a million taxpayer dollars came just as AquaBounty was facing grave financial troubles. The company’s interim report shows a loss of $2.8 million in the first half of 2011 alone, and stated it was “considering options for raising further working capital.” Just a few months later, the USDA obliged by giving the company a nice, fat grant.
USDA’s sister agency, FDA, is still in its review process for the GE salmon. In its appropriations bill, the House voted to stop funding of the fish, but the Senate has not included the same language in its own appropriations bill. It seems a foregone conclusion that FDA will approve the salmon if USDA is funding it.
Representatives Don Young (AK) and Peter DeFazio (OR) sent a letter to the USDA asking them to rescind the grant. “The USDA should not be in the business of picking winners and losers,” said Young. “Propping up a company who has already researched and developed their technologies should not be the business of the federal government. This company is not losing money due to a lack of research; they are losing money because Americans prefer wild salmon over Frankenfish.”
Consumers also face a threat of unidentified genetically engineered foods in their produce aisle. Monsanto plans to dominate the $3 billion global produce market by making their GE seeds the primary source of the nation’s vegetables and fruits. According to Monsanto’s chief executive, “This isn’t a hobby….We’re serious about it.” As the Los Angeles Times put it,
Grocery customers in California and elsewhere are chopping its onions that produce fewer tears, stir-frying its broccoli that decreases cholesterol, and biting into tiny orange tomatoes that last longer on the shelf. Soon, people will be thumping melons bred to be a single serving and shucking sweet corn genetically modified to enable farmers to spray the fields with the company’s weed killer, Roundup. To do this, it’s marrying conventional breeding methods with its vast technological resources to bring about changes in fruits and vegetables in months or years, rather than in decades.
Currently, vegetable seeds represent only 8% of Monsanto’s revenue. However, the company has already acquired four vegetable seed companies, 57 research centers, and hired many researchers and scientists.
Citizens nationwide are demanding that genetically engineered foods and foods containing genetically modified organisms be clearly labeled as such. Send your message to the USDA, FDA, and Congress, and tell them how concerned you are about Monsanto’s push into our nation’s produce. Take action today!
TO SEND YOUR MESSAGE TO USDA, FDA, AND CONGRESS
Click THIS LINK to go to the Action Alert page. Once there, fill out the form with your name and address, etc., and customize your letter. We have a suggested message for you, but please feel free to add your own comments to the letter.
We’d also love to hear your comments about this article—just add your thoughts below—but remember that the messages below are only seen by our ANH-USA readers and not Congress, the FDA, etc.
Our country should initiate litigation against the Federal Government for continuing supporting irresponsible research programs. It’s dangerous to be a physician in the United States!
I’m with you Dr.Edlich! What business does a chemical company have to do with our food! They should not even be involved with it!
We need to stop playing God
Moreso, big, government backed corporations intent on shoving this kind of freak food down our throats should.
Hello, As much as I wanted to complete this petition, your website could not connect to send the email. It tried to connect for over an hour without doing anything.
We must protect the citizenry from franken-foods!
This is disgusting.
Thank heavens for the green wholesome local food movement. Sadly people with low
incomes will not have that choice and won’t even know what they are actually eating and
what the consequences may be.
I don’t want to eat frankenfish. Period.
Dear USDA and FDA:
When are you going to please stop this madness. We are all watching.
this franken fish must stop
They are trying to kill us…one cell at the time, and I, for one,
will not stand idle and allow them to do this without a good fight. i’m up for one….what about you?
Rep Peter DeFazio did the right thing asking them to recind the grant! I wish that all of you would write your congress person and say not to this! We have enough to worry about rather than this .Thank you.
To whom it may concern….
Thank you for those legislators brave enough in the House to want to recind the fat-cat grants….. Now….Senate go and do thou likewise….Government….stay out of my medicine cabinet, and refrigerator…..
The temporary wealth you seem to have acquired for yourself is only rented. While you strive to destroy the Planet to further your own means…you will discover you are on the wrong side. Those who destroy the Earth will find them selves destroyed. I’ll be laughing so hard to see you all drowning in a pool of your rotting Frankenfish. There is a price to pay for pretending to be God
Or, to put it another way, if you sink the ship you’re riding on, you’re going down with it.
The very people hired & paid by We the People are not doing an ethical job for our citizens. And the fact that we are using taxpayer monies to “bail” AuqaBounty out of its financial dilemma is a crime. I am very saddened by the FDA, USDA and government officials who allow this to continue happening. Kathleen Kreiselmeyer
treason [trēz-n] n
[Anglo-French treison crime of violence against a person to whom allegiance is owed, literally, betrayal, from Old French traïson, from traïr to betray, from Latin tradere to hand over, surrender]
: the offense of attempting to overthrow the government of one’s country or of assisting its enemies in war
: the act of levying war against the United States or adhering to or giving aid and comfort to its enemies by one who owes it allegiance
Source: Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.
What I mean is, that the Government is committing treason against Us, the People. The side effects, better said to be health damage, of GMO’s is known. Further, the impacts to the environment ought to be obvious. Frankenfish may be exempt here, but where produce is concerned, it is neonicotinoids in pesticides that may be responsible for the bee colony death disorder, as well as being responsible for the deaths of millions of bats and butterflies (also crop pollinators). http://www.panna.org/resources/panups/panup_20100115
If this is not war against the USA—-namely, Us, the People—-then let us ask: What is?
The arrogance of Monsanto is beyond belief in this day and age, but nothing new historically. They KNOW if they have to label their foods as GMO that the free market will reject it (just like rBST is being rejected now that milk makers are “allowed” to say they don’t use it). So, instead they go around the free market and create shills in the USDA, FDA, courts, congress and elsewhere and make sure they can do their evil out of the spotlight. This is the true reality of big government left unchecked. It becomes the henchmen of the biggest corporations with the deepest pockets. This is tyranny. It is the same corruption the East India Company created in the British government to gain monopoly power. That is why we need to shrink the US government, for it will protect free markets and free choice.
We should round up (intentional pun) all of the CEOs and any other person responsible for GMOs and prosecute them for any and all crimes against humanity. Once found guilty they can have a choice- however many years they are sentenced to in prison, or another facility away from other criminals where all they have to eat is their own frankenfoods. Which do you think they will choose?
I agree with the gal who said we need to stop playing God. He got it right the first time!
We don’t want these GMO’s anywhere…why can’t they at least keep conventional the way it is, and if they want to fiddle around with a GMO version, keep it separate….i know the answer: no one would want to buy it. That’s the whole idea I don’t understand, how they can keep PUSHING a PRODUCT we don’t WANT?! That doesn’t work with any other biz, why should work it with our most critical resource for living? Whole untampered PRODUCE?
“how they can keep PUSHING a PRODUCT we don’t WANT?! ”
It’s all about money, honey. Pure greed. That’s what it’s all about, and nothing more.
Both Monsanto and the FDA know very well that if GMO foods were labeled as such nobody would buy them-at least not if they have any sense. Who on earth would buy corn soaked with Roundup if they knew what it was? Or corn or other foods laced with insecticide? Not me!
How many times do we need to be slapped in the face or worse. HHS. NIH. CDC, FDA,USDA et al WANT us to have poor or worse health.
GMO “food” has never been honestly investigated as to its food safety by our “protectors”. Two dozen scientific studies have shown VERY deleterious effects within HOURS of eating this UNLABELED, Pervasive in our “processed food” garbage.
Now GMO “food” is being produced for us in UNLABELED unprocessed “food”. Why the hell don’t they just shoot every 100th person entering supermarkets?
Please spread this awful word far and wide.
enough is enough. Occupy FDA and the USDA. These 2 organizations have the mentality of wallstreet. Money before anything else
Do you all know this:
U.S. Department of Monsanto. Government for and by Monsanto . . a few examples:
Michael Taylor, former Monsanto Vice President, is now the FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods.
Roger Beachy, former director of the Monsanto-funded Danforth Plant Science Center, is now the director of the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
Islam Siddiqui, Vice President of the Monsanto and DuPont-funded pesticide -promoting lobbying group, Croplife, is now the Agriculture Negotiator for the US Trade Representative.
Rajiv Shah, former agricultural-development director for the pro-biotech Gates Foundation (a frequent Monsanto partner), served as President Obama’s USDA UnderSecretary for Research Education and Economics and Chief Scientist and is now head of USAID.
Elena Kagan, who, as President Obama’s Solicitor General, took Monsanto’s side against organic farmers in the Roundup Ready alfalfa case, is now on the Supreme Court.
Ramona Romero, corporate counsel to DuPont, has been nominated by President Obama to serve as General Counsel for the USDA.
Could the USDA be more in bed with Monsanto if they tried?
Same old same old. The entire system is as corrupt as a whole truckload of rotten potatoes. It stinks.
According to Food and Water Watch, Monsanto and the biotech industry have spent more than half a billion dollars ($547 million) lobbying Congress since 1999. In 2009 alone Monsanto and the biotech lobby spent $71 million.
Perhaps it’s long overdue for the American people to start bombarding Monsanto and its ilk with letters, faxes, etc that we do not want their GE crap! They are not fooling anybody. Of course if GE foods are clearly labeled no one is going to buy them. And any modest cook knows how to chop any onion with fewer tears already.
Maybe it’s time for “Occupy Monsanto,” but knowing Monsanto they will probably nab all the protesters for their experiments.
So far only 9 comment’s on this article because people don’t know. There raised to believe “this is AMERICA”, and ” the Government will keep us safe” and if it’s not safe “the media wood report on it”. I know because I used to think the same way. The only way the Gov. gets away with this stuff is by control of the media. Once I realized that, I understood “he who has eye’s to see”.
This latests grant is only the tip of the iceberg. AquaBounty Technologies has actually received more than $2.4 million dollars in federal research grants since 2003. It’s Aquabounty’s responsibility to prove it’s products are safe, not the American taxpayer’s, especially during a time when our economy is just barely getting by. The FDA approved the sale of genetically modified food without the public’s knowledge or consent nearly three decades ago and now cancer and other chronic diseases in the United States are at their highest rate ever. But because the federal government refuses to label GMOs, it’s impossible to either establish or dismiss any link between these foods and the what now seems to be the out-of-control number of cases of chronic illness. We all need to support California’s initiative to get labeling of genetically modified foods on the 2012 CA Ballot.
What seed companies does Monsanto own?Be sure you’re correct if you give names.
Boycott them,Send it out on facebook and,twitter .
There are many of us,they have the power ,we have the numbers.
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