Rob Gibson, MSP for Caithness, Sutherland and Ross, has urged Scottish anglers and fish farmers to combine to oppose the threat of the US approval of Genetically Modified salmon.
He said: “The US food security agency, the FDA, has declared in a recent draft ruling that AquAdvantage GM salmon are unlikely to damage the environment if grown in strict conditions. However fish farmers and wild anglers across northern Europe need to warn against any GM fish that could escape and interbreed with wild fish here. This could be the biggest threat to undermine genetics of our iconic Atlantic salmon.
“At the start of the Year of Natural Scotland 2013 and in the midst of Holyrood scrutiny of the Aquaculture and Fisheries Bill this new threat from the USA must be taken very seriously. Parliament is assessing the best conditions to grow essential protein from fish farming in Scottish waters. This needs stringent checks and balances to maintain wild salmon.
“We are told that AquAdvantage salmon would be the first genetically altered animal approved for human consumption anywhere in the world. The GM fish are bred with two extra genes that make them grow to full size twice as fast as natural salmon.”
He continued: “The threat of escapes has huge implications for wild angling. I will be writing to the Environment Secretary to seek the Scottish Government’s opinion on the best ways to oppose this US decision.
“I urge anglers, environmental interests, fish farmers and government to oppose the threat of GM salmon escapes from the USA that will inevitably follow escapes from production following FDA approval.”