Tomorrow, Meaningful Movies (5019 Keystone Pl. N.) will screen “Genetic Roulette” — a film that discusses health risks of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) used for growing food. The film starts at 7:00pm and will be followed by a discussion.
Wallingford’s very own “Greenhouse Guy”, Cyrus, dropped us a note to let us know a bit more about the film and its timeliness, given that I-522 (the WA initiative that calls to label genetically engineered food) will be on the state’s ballot in November:
I-522 – the WA state initiative to label (not ban) genetically engineered (GE) food was recently approved with over 350,000 signatures. This initiative will be put up for a state vote next November. The mega-corporations that manufacture and promote GE seeds and products have already begun an ad campaign to convince voters that there’s no need to label GE or genetically modified (GMO) food is underway. One of the latest GE products is a GE salmon.
Frankenfish, the genetically engineered fish which has had some of the ocean pout’s (an eel-like fish) genes injected into its basically Atlantic salmon genome is close to being approved by the FDA. This genetic alteration results in the frankenfish producing growth hormone at an increased rate. This GE and ravenous, farmed fish has been shown to grow significantly faster than wild salmon thus its economic potential. There’s been very limited safety testing and assessments of this fish but there’s been some indication that it has an increased allergenic potential to humans and the level of IGF-1 it produces may increase the risk of developing certain types of cancer. Also despite assurances that this fish will be contained in its farming pens, the history of farmed aquaculture tells us that farmed fish routinely escape and these frankenfish could overwhelm wild salmon species in several decades.
The controversy over genetically altered foods extends well beyond GE fish to the fact that five major corporate giants (Monsanto, ConAgra, et al) grow the GE seeds that now produce more than 80-90% of commercially grown soybeans, corn, etc..
Also, an educational forum about GE foods will be presented at the Greenwood Senior Center Thursday 3/21 7:00 – 8:30pm.