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AquaBounty Technologies CEO Ronald Stotish complains about 'biased' statements about GM salmon. (Photo: AquaBounty)

AquaBounty Technologies CEO complains about 'biased and unaccurate' article

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Tuesday, April 30, 2013, 01:10 (GMT + 9)

AquaBounty Technologies CEO Ronald L. Stotish wrote to FIS in reference to an article published on 25 April (Fate of GM salmon in US market may be decided this week), which he claims is “biased and untruthful” and protrays his company and its activities inaccurately.

Mr Stotish particularly complained about “the use of a blatantly false and misleading graphic portraying the alleged composition of AquAdvantage salmon,” and about the fact that it was sourced from a group opposed to AquAdvantage and that “appears on the website of the Center for Food Safety and other anti-technology groups.”

“The values reported in that graphic were dishonestly derived from the tables of data published by the FDA in their briefing document for the 2010 Veterinary Medicine Advisory Committee,” he wrote in a letter sent to FIS. “Opponents selected values from the reported ranges, ignored standard deviations and minimum/maximum values, and created a false and dishonest graphic.”

Mr Stotish argued in his letter:

“The original data can be seen on page 80 of the VMAC Briefing document, available on the CVM website. Similarly, the omega-3/6 values are false and misleading. Page 95 of the same VMAC Briefing Document displays the measured and literature values. Of particular note, the graphic in your editorial compares measured omega-316 values from AquAdvantage salmon (an Atlantic salmon) to literature values for Pacific salmon, a different species.

More importantly, the FDA conclusions (VMAC Briefing Packet, page 96) for composition are clearly stated:

Composition Conclusions

Based on all the previous criteria including statistical analyses, we conclude that the levels of all analytes in ABT salmon are similar to the levels in appropriate comparator salmon (e.g. either the sponsor controls, farmed salmon, literature reports, or a combination of the three). We conclude that any differences observed for analytes are the result of normal biological variation, and are highly unlikely to be associated with toxicological or nutritional hazards to humans consuming ABT salmon.

With respect to the fatty acid levels and ratios the FDA conclusions were similarly clear.

Conclusions for Fatty Acids

Based on the data and information evaluated, we conclude the following:

  • The levels of any individual fatly acid in ABT salmon are similar to those of the comparators;
  • Total fat content for ABT salmon is similar to those for comparator salmon and within the 7-19 per cent range for total lipids as reported for wild and farmed Atlantic salmon;
  • ABT salmon offer a balanced diet of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, similar in quantity and ratio to that provided by the FC controls and by farmed Atlantic salmon currently consumed; and
  • ABT salmon are not materially different from other Atlantic salmon with respect to omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid levels and the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids.

Most importantly, the FDA conclusions for food safety are unambiguous:

I. Conclusions for Food Safety

ABT salmon meets the standard of identity for Atlantic salmon as established by FDA's Reference Fish Encyclopedia. All other assessments of composition have determined that there are no material differences in foodfrom ABT salmon and other Atlantic salmon. We conclude that food from the tripioid ABT Salmon that is the subject of this application is as safe as food from conventional salmon, and that there is a reasonable certainty of no harm from consumption of food from triploid ABT salmon. No animal feed consumption concerns were identified.

The findings of the CVMJFDA have also been reviewed by other agencies and independent scientists. The scientific community has publicly agreed and accepted the conclusions of the FDA.”

Finally, Mr Stotish complained about “the pejorative and inaccurate statement ‘injecting salmon with seal genes’", and he explained that “AquAdvantage expresses the growth hormone of the chinook salmon, a salmon protein in a salmon.”

“The history and facts associated with the review of AquAdvantage are a matter of public record,” Mr. Stotish’s letter reads.

By Laura Fasano
[email protected]


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