Washington State Bans Frankenfish

Posted 12/12/2002

Hooray!! We WON!!! Thanks to the concerted efforts of environmental groups, fishermen, caring legislators, and several active and concerned citizens, transgenic fish are now banned from the State of Washington! On Saturday, December 7th, 2002, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Commission voted for new fish farm regulations, including an amendment that provides a permanent ban on transgenic fish. (AKA Frankenfish)

The Commission agreed that until the proponents could demonstrate that these frankenfish are both necessary and safe, they should not be allowed in Washington waters. Transgenic fish have had genes and genetic material from foreign species forced into the genome of the fish to give the transgenic fish new traits not possible through normal breeding. Genetic material from other animals, plants, insects, bacteria, and viruses can and have been inserted into fish DNA in attempts to develop "better" fish.

The technology is still experimental and the long-term effects are poorly understood. A company called A/F Protein has asked the FDA to approve their super-salmon (that grow four to six times the rate of normal salmon) for human consumption. These transgenic frankenfish are now not permitted in Washington's fish farms, a great victory for environmentalists and consumer advocates.

We are continuing the effort at the federal level to have the FDA reject the application by A/F Protein as well as pressing for a nation-wide prohibition on the introduction of any transgenic animals.

Questions? Contact: Joel Hanson biotechjoel@yahoo.com 206-719-1034 or Shawn Cantrell Friends of The Earth NW Office 206-297-9460 scantrell@foe.org


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