North American Community of Faith vs. U.S. Department Of Health And Human Services

FOR APPROVING UNLABELED GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FOOD FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION

    • Status: In Negotiation
      This claim has posted for public comment and negotiation. It will remain posted until resolved to the claimant's satisfaction. Suggest a resolution to help these parties reach a settlement.
      (seeking public comment)
    • Claimant Seeks: 1 non-monetary items.
    • Claim #: 2290633
    • Amount Involved: N/A
    • Filed On: Aug 17, 2016
    • Posted On: Aug 28, 2016
    • Complaint(s):
      • Unjust or misguided public policy
      • Public health hazard
      • Environmental issue
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Complaint(s) Involved (4) Hide

Unjust Or Misguided Public Policy
Public Health Hazard
Environmental Issue
Other

Claimant's opinion: Disregarding the people’s right to information about what is in their food.

Claimant's opinion:

The United States Food and Drug Administration, by approving the sale of unlabeled genetically engineered salmon without fully analyzing its potential risks, is disregarding consumers' right to know what is in their food, and endangering human health and the environment.
• As the taro plant is considered a relative to the indigenous Hawaiians, likewise the salmon is considered a relative to the indigenous cultures of North America, and intrinsic to their ancient and sacred customs. Therefore, to protect and preserve the cultural integrity of indigenous civilizations, salmon genes and their DNA must remain inviolable.
• Genetically engineered salmon was invented by combining two strands of DNA, constructed artificially from the DNA of the Chinook salmon and the eel-like species called an ocean pout. This technique is fundamentally different from traditional methods of selective breeding or hybridization that are performed within the natural reproductive context; and produces outcomes that could never occur in nature.
• By breaking down the protective barriers that exist to prevent the transfer of genes between species, genetic engineers have radically restructured the DNA of an entire species.
• Genetically engineered salmon could escape, which would produce unintended effects within each ecosystem to which it belongs.
• While genetically engineered salmon is presumed safe for consumption, it has not been tested for human safety. Therefore, consuming genetically engineered salmon could cause unpredictable and potentially adverse effects on human health.

What Claimant Wants

  • Claimant agrees to resolve this matter under the following proposed terms of settlement.
  • Status: In Negotiation
    This claim has posted for public comment and negotiation. It will remain posted until resolved to the claimant's satisfaction. Suggest a resolution to help these parties reach a settlement.
  • U.S. Department Of Health And Human Services is asked to agree and settle or make a good-faith counteroffer, offer a rebuttal, or request additional information.
What By When
1. Change of policy: All genetically engineered salmon must carry a printed label stating: “Genetically engineered salmon” before it is sold for human or animal consumption. Sep 05, 2017
Non-cash: 1 items
5 avg. rating / 5 participants
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COMMUNITY FEEDBACK ABOUT THIS CLAIM Hide

The PeopleClaim community includes volunteers who are passionate about justice – consumer advocates, legal professionals, people with knowledge of specific industries and trades, and anyone who has useful suggestions to help disputing parties resolve a case.
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  • My Solution: No brainer- consumers have a right to know. No matter how they try to confuse or obfuscate the issue its pretty simple- altered food should be labelled- zero downside to consumers in labelling it and it should be a basic right to know.
  • Contributed by Matt M. Retired Mediator - On: 10/14/2016

  • 2 issues here: is it safe and should it be labelled.  The first can be debated, the second really can't.  A free society depends upon full and fair disclosure of issues that could effect their health can choice.   Could labelling stigmatize the GMO salmon industry- sure, but thats a marketing challenge for them- not a legal right to protect their business over consumers' rights to know.  End of story.... or at least it should be.  

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  • My Solution: I think the current "Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard" should be repealed and replaced with the Biotechnology Food Labeling and Uniformity Act (Senate Bill #2621) introduced by Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley.
  • Contributed by Ken R. Editor Of The Organic & Non-Gmo Report - On: 10/14/2016

  • American citizens like citizens in more than 60 other nations should have the right to know whether their foods are genetically engineered or contain genetically engineered ingredients. Also, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's process to approve this GMO salmon is deeply flawed since it is regulated as a veterinary drug. This product should be subject to rigorous safety testing before it is allowed on the market, and the FDA, which deems genetically engineered foods to be substantially equivalent to conventional foods, has not conducted such testing. The fact that more than 60 major food retailers, including Costco, Safeway, Kroger, and others are refusing to sell this salmon shows that consumers don't want to eat this experimental fish. 

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Reply: by Matt M.Retired Mediator - On: 10/14/2016

Great Ken. I have mixed feelings on the safety of GMO's. I avoid them to be safe when possible. But the right to know is undeniable. Great to see higher levels of science being applied to this important topic.

  • Comment: Contributed by Martin D., Physician, Educator, Expert In Public Health - On: 10/02/2016
  • As a physician, educator, and one who has written about and spoken nationally at professional meetings about food safety issues, I have reviewed the data on GM salmon and concerned that the FDA has not adequately assessed the potential adverse environmental and human health consequences of GM salmon approval. I agree with the suggested change of policy to label GM salmon, so that consumers can know how their food is produced and make their own choices regarding what to consume.

    Details of my involvement in, and copies of my articles and slide shows on GM foods can be found on the Food Safety/Food Justice page of the Public Health and Social Justice website.




    Martin Donohoe, MD, FACP
    Adjunct Associate Professor,
    School of Community Health
    Portland State University
    Member, Social
    Justice Committee, Physicians for Social Responsibility
    Member, Board of
    Advisors, Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility
    Senior Physician,
    Internal Medicine, Kaiser Sunnyside Medical
    Center

  • My Solution: Consumers must know what they are eating to best care for their loved one's health and their own health. GMO salmon has not been proven safe and in fact is extremely worrisome, and must be not only labeled but prevented from entering the market place
  • Contributed by Zen H. Founding Executive Director Of Moms Across America - On: 09/27/2016

  • GMO salmon has been bred to grow 4X fatter, 4X faster and be sterile. No mother, knowing this informations, would willingly feed this fish to their child. We understand why the manufacturers would not want labeling. We submit however that they cannot hide knowledge for long, and that even if GMO salmon were to make it on the market unlabeled, eventually we would all find out where it is, that salmon would not sell, the grocery stores would experience a loss and suffer. To best protect the grocery store owners and staff from loss of wages and the American people from health issues, we recommend that the pursuit of GMO salmon be abandoned now and resources be redirected and invested on protecting the wild salmon from disease and cleaning the water from toxic chemicals.

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5 avg. rating / 2 participants
  • My Solution: Consumers must know what they are eating to best care for their loved one's health and their own health. GMO salmon has not been proven safe and in fact is extremely worrisome, and must be not only labeled but prevented from entering the market place
  • Contributed by Zen H. Founding Executive Director Of Moms Across America - On: 09/27/2016

  • GMO salmon has been bred to grow 4X fatter, 4X faster and be sterile. No mother, knowing this informations, would willingly feed this fish to their child. We understand why the manufacturers would not want labeling. We submit however that they cannot hide knowledge for long, and that even if GMO salmon were to make it on the market unlabeled, eventually we would all find out where it is, that salmon would not sell, the grocery stores would experience a loss and suffer. To best protect the grocery store owners and staff from loss of wages and the American people from health issues, we recommend that the pursuit of GMO salmon be abandoned now and resources be redirected and invested on protecting the wild salmon from disease and cleaning the water from toxic chemicals.

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  • Comment: Contributed by Anne D., Founder And Director Of Truth In Labeling Coalition - On: 08/30/2016
  • Labeling of genetically engineered food is a commonsense precautionary measure in the face of scientific uncertainty. Therefore, the outdated policy position the FDA took over 24 years ago should be revised. There is no scientific consensus on GMO safety; in fact, the American Medical Association adopted new policy in 2012 recommending the U.S. government require safety testing of of all GMO food before it is marketed: http://www.ensser.org/increasing-public-information/no-scientific-consensus-on-gmo-safety/. Furthermore, the unintended effects of genetic engineering documented in the scientific literature are not disputable: http://natureinstitute.org/nontarget/browse_titles.htm   Even so, proving that genetically engineered salmon is harmful is not necessary in order to require mandatory labeling before it is sold for human consumption. The U.S. Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C) prohibits the misbranding of food articles, which includes if a label is "misleading." The FD&C defines misleading to include a failure to "reveal facts material" about a food product.  Whether their food is genetically engineered is clearly of material importance to American consumers: a New York Times poll conducted in 2013 found that 93% of Americans favor GMO labeling:  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/28/science/strong-support-for-labeling-modified-foods.html?_r=0 

  • My Solution: Enactment of the Biotechnology Food Labeling and Uniformity Act (Senate Bill #2621) introduced by Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley, will require food manufacturers to label all genetically engineered food products.
  • Contributed by Anne D. Founder And Director Of Truth In Labeling Coalition - On: 08/29/2016

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  • My Solution: All GE salmon needs to be labeled. We as consumers have the right to know! If not, our family will avoid buying salmon.
  • Contributed by Jenny P. Physician, Public Health Advocate, Mother - On: 08/29/2016

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  • My Solution: I believe that not labelling GE salmon will damage the entire salmon industry. GE salmon should be labelled, but DHHS should also take responsibility for the potential health consequences
  • Contributed by Fran F. Paralegal - On: 08/29/2016

  • The rise of food allergies and autoimmune illness is very concerning. The EpiPen controversy is a controversy precisely because of the ubiquity of life-threatening allergies. We don't know why allergy rates have risen so much - it  certainly can't be entirely attributed to the rise of GE crops and food - but that is all the more reason to be extremely cautious.

    I understand selective breeding, but cross-breeding (sometimes using genes from completely different species such as fish and vegetables) in a lab without giving nature a chance to say 'nope, doesn't work' does not make sense to me.

    I eat salmon frequently, both at home - where I can choose my sources - and in restaurants, where I usually cannot. Food fraud is rampant as it is. If GE salmon isn't labelled, I certainly won't order salmon in restaurants any more.

    Furthermore, because I don't trust that GE salmon won't contaminate the non-GE supply, I will probably also stop buying salmon to cook at home.

    That is the bottom line.

    I believe that the entire salmon industry could suffer from this.



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Reply: by Anne D.Founder And Director Of Truth In Labeling Coalition - On: 08/29/2016

Genetic engineering must not be confused with cross-breeding. Genetic engineering is performed outside the the natural reproductive context, by violating barriers that prevent the combining of genes from different species.

Reply: by Fran F.Paralegal - On: 08/29/2016

Absolutely. Great way of putting it.

  • Comment: Contributed by Dave M., I Am An Organic Gardener. - On: 08/29/2016
  • There has to be a way to keep the GE salmon away from all waters where non-GE fish live and spawn.

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