In the 1993 film “Jurassic Park,” dinosaurs were genetically engineered to be female -- no chance of reproduction. But as Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) said, “If there’s one thing the history of evolution has taught us, it’s that life will not be contained.” Sure enough, Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) soon discovers hatched dino eggs.
Fast-forward 22 years: Meet AquAdvantage salmon, the first animal genetically engineered for human consumption in the U.S. True, the fish are (at least to date) contained in land-based tanks in Canada and Panama (they’re not allowed in the U.S.) and are reproductively sterile. But, despite their foreign breeding locales, they’re supervised and regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Why? Because the engineered recombinant DNA that causes the salmon to grow more quickly than farm-raised salmon meets the definition of a drug.
Huh? Makes us ask, “When you shop or eat out, will you be able to tell which salmon is genetically engineered?”
While recent FDA guidelines say voluntary labeling of food that is and is not bioengineered may suffice, what company would label a food as bioengineered, with all the backlash against it? Plus, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1599, and if it passes in the Senate, it would deny states the ability to require labeling and prevent the FDA from mandating a nationwide “Bioengineered” labeling system.
Our position is the same as that of 90 percent of Americans and 64 other countries, including Russia and China: mandatory labeling for all GMOs! So write your senators to let them know where you stand.
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit www.sharecare.com.