Larry A. Law
The GE salmon is produced by AquaBounty Technologies, Inc. and contains DNA from Atlantic salmon, Pacific King salmon, and Arctic ocean eelpout. Because of this genetic modification, the GE salmon is forced to grow twice as fast as its wild counterpart. The federal court agreed that this new species of fish carried a huge environmental risk that had not been adequately assessed. The new fish could be accidentally released into the environment and mate with endangered salmon species, outcompeting them for scarce resources and habitat. They could also bring new diseases. The FDA had ignored all of these concerns for years, but they will now be forced to reevaluate the risk of transgenic contamination. This is the same cross-pollination risk farmers face when GE crops (corn, soybeans, etc.) are planted near non-GMO crops, but it would be far more serious with wildlife.
Quinault Indian Nation President Fawn Sharp applauded the ruling. He stated, "Salmon are at the center of our cultural and spiritual identity, diet, and way of life. It's unconscionable and arrogant to think that man can improve upon our Creator's perfection as a justification for corporate ambition and greed." Mike Conroy, Executive Director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Association, added "It's a terrible idea to design genetically engineered 'Frankenfish' which, when they escape into the wild (as they inevitably will), could destroy our irreplaceable salmon runs...This decision is a major victory for wild salmon, salmon fishing families and dependent communities, and salmon conservation efforts everywhere." For more information on genetic engineering, see my book.