Tag Archives: fishing

Californians Call on Boxer to Take a Stand Against GE Salmon

SAN FRANCISCO – On behalf of a coalition representing the interests of consumers, environmentalists and fishermen statewide, Food & Water Watch will deliver petitions signed by more than 17,000 Californians to Senator Barbara Boxer’s (D-CA) San Francisco office on the morning of Wednesday, Nov. 17, asking her to join her West Coast colleagues in urging the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to halt its approval of genetically engineered (GE) salmon. The FDA could issue its decision as early as November 23. If approved, the product would be the first GE food animal allowed for human consumption.

“Every other Senator from the Pacific Coast – including Senator Feinstein – has voiced concern about what the approval of GE salmon would mean for human health, the environment, and the tens of thousands of men and women whose livelihoods depend on California’s commercial salmon fisheries,” said Food & Water Watch’s California Campaigns Director Adam Scow. “It’s time for Senator Boxer to take a stand against the approval of GE salmon.”

In September, the FDA held hearings to determine whether or not to approve the controversial product developed by Massachusetts biotech company AquaBounty. At least 30 House members and 13 senators expressed concern with the FDA’s review process, with many calling for the outright prohibition of GE salmon. Fourteen of California’s state legislators sent a similar message in a letter to the FDA that month.

“Senator Boxer has been a strong champion for California’s commercial fishing communities and we’re counting on her to help us combat GE salmon, which could spell disaster for our natural fisheries,” said Zeke Grader, executive director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations.  

Scientists at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are concerned that insufficient research has been done on the environmental risks of GE salmon, according to documents obtained by Food & Water Watch through a Freedom of Information Act request and released on Monday.

Two types of petitions will be delivered to Senator Boxer: 2,219 petitions urge Senator Boxer directly to support legislation similar to H.R. 6265, which prevents the approval of GE fish, and to ask President Obama to direct the FDA not to rush approval of the product; 15,100 petitions directed to President Obama and FDA asking them to reject the approval of AquaBounty’s Aqua Advantage Salmon.

The coalition of groups that oppose GE salmon include the San Francisco Bay Chapter Sierra Club, Credo Action, Center for Food Safety, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, SalmonAID Foundation, San Francisco Crab Boat Owner’s Association, Fish Sniffer magazine, South Yuba River Citizens League and FISH Restaurant in Sausalito.

The following spokespeople are available to provide background and comment about the impacts of GE salmon approval on California’s consumers, environment and economy:

Adam Scow, California campaigns director for consumer advocacy group Food & Water Watch

Rebecca Spector, West Coast Director for the public interest and environmental advocacy organization The Center for Food Safety (CFS)

Zeke Grader, executive director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations (PCFFA)

Kenny Belov, owner of sustainable seafood restaurant FISH in Sausalito

Paul Johnson, owner of Monterey Fish Co.

More information on U.S. Fish & Wildlife’s concerns about GE salmon can be found here: http://www.foodandwaterwatch.o…

Food & Water Watch works to ensure the food, water and fish we consume is safe, accessible and sustainable. So we can all enjoy and trust in what we eat and drink, we help people take charge of where their food comes from, keep clean, affordable, public tap water flowing freely to our homes, protect the environmental quality of oceans, force government to do its job protecting citizens, and educate about the importance of keeping shared resources under public control.


Odds and Sods 4-23

Post-Pennsylvania and… well, nothing much different actually.  But next time, for sure!  Meanwhile, here are some California-centric notes:

• The California School Employees Association made their endorsements for the June primary.  In addition to Migden, they strike of an aversion to go out on a limb.  They only endorsed one Congressional candidate in a Republican-held seat (Charlie Brown), and they opted out of a lot of contested primaries in the legislative seats as well.  Manuel Perez did get the endorsement in the 80th AD, however (he is a school board member, so not a big shock).

• We don’t get into a lot of rural issues on the site, probably because of the bias toward writers here in urban environments.  But this salmon fishing ban is a big deal along the Mendocino coast.  This actually goes back to the Klamath fish kill in the beginning of the decade and Darth Cheney’s efforts to ensure that.  I think there are going to be a lot of angry fishermen wanting answers this fall.

• I keep forgetting to write about the State Senate primary in my own backyard of SD-23, between Fran Pavley  and Lloyd Levine.  Here’s some background on the race to succeed Sheila Kuehl.  I actually attended an environmental forum with these two last week and found them both to be really solid, with different strengths.  While Pavley is an astonishingly effective lawmaker – she probably has her name on more far-reaching climate change legislation than anyone in the entire country – Levine really seems to understand the nature of the fight in Sacramento and how best to bring about sweeping change.  I’m not going to be disappointed on June 3, regardless of the winner.  We’re hoping to get both Pavley and Levine on a future Calitics Radio show.

• Here’s a user-created video of our debate protest at ABC last week.  We have our own video set for release as well.

• Adam Liptak in The New York Times today: “The United States has less than 5 percent of the world’s population. But it has almost a quarter of the world’s prisoners.”

Yet we must remain “tough on crime,” even though rises and falls in the crime rate are not correlative to imprisoning people (Canada’s rate goes up and down roughly at the same time ours does, without a corresponding increase in the prison population).

• John Yoo won’t talk to the House Judiciary Committee but it’s really not his fault, you see:

In a letter, Yoo’s lawyer told Conyers he was “not authorized” by DOJ to discuss internal deliberations.

“We have been expressly advised by the Office of Legal Counsel of the United States Department of Justice that Professor Yoo is not authorized to discuss before your Committee any specific deliberative communications, including the substance of comments on opinions or policy questions, or the confidential predecisional advice, recommendations or other positions taken by individuals or entities of the Executive Branch,” Yoo’s lawyer, John C. Millian, wrote in a letter to Conyers.

As we all know, the executive branch can ignore subpoenas and prevent Congressional oversight.  Why, Yoo wrote it in a memo!  But he can’t discuss it.  Because the executive branch follows the law.  That he wrote.

Round and round we go…