10,000 tons per year of genetically-engineered salmon seen as threat to Lake Erie ecosystem
TOLEDO, OH, UNITED STATES, December 14, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — Concerns over a factory â€œfarmâ€� to raise 10,000 tons of GE (genetically engineered) salmon a year will bring residents from across Northwest Ohio to the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority board meeting in downtown Toledo Thursday morning, as part of national protests (https://docs.google.com/document/d/153dN-2kYPKpAM8khU1Tn_WJui4D9GEra9INYefX4TYQ/edit) against AquaBounty Technologies. The Port Authority recently approved over $400 million in bonds for the facility in the Williams County town of Pioneer.
Last week, the US Nasdaq exchange threatened AquaBounty with delisting if it does not lift its low share price because it has traded below $1 for 30 days, violating the exchange’s rules. (https://www.undercurrentnews.com/2022/11/11/aquabounty-selling-all-it-can-produce-cuts-q3-losses/)
Protesters from the Williams County Alliance and Lake Erie Advocates said the proposed Aquabounty Technologies salmon facility threatens drinking water supplies in both Toledo and Williams County.
AquaBounty plans to withdraw 5 million gallons of water daily from the Michindoh (MI, IN, OH) Aquifer and discharge it into the nearby St. Joseph River, part of the western Lake Erie watershed.
â€œNutrients from the waste will worsen Lake Erieâ€™s toxic algae (https://abcnews.go.com/US/caused-toledos-water-contamination/story?id=24825275) and genetically engineered salmon escaping from the facility would wreak havoc on the Great Lakes ecosystem,â€� said Mike Ferner of Lake Erie Advocates. â€œWe already have 25 million confined animals in our watershed using Lake Erie as a free toilet. We donâ€™t need to add the waste from 10,000 tons of GE salmon every year.â€�
â€œThe risk to the Michindoh Aquifer, the Great Lakes ecosystem and Atlantic salmon is too great to stand by silently,â€� said Sherry Fleming, chair of the Williams County Alliance. AquaBountyâ€™s profits shouldnâ€™t take priority over the wellbeing of the Great Lakes. We must work to change perceptions and existing laws to reflect how critical healthy ecosystems are to all life, instead of treating them as little more than resources for profit. Water is life.â€�
During a virtual public meeting (https://fda.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_dtpIttgWQh-yXR9IeYVQ7A) that will take place from 1-5 pm EST on Thursday, representatives from Nature Canada, the North American Marine Alliance, Fishadelphia, Real Food Generation, and Friends of the Earth will present their feedback on a new FDA assessment of AquaBountyâ€™s GE salmon. Their presentations will focus on remaining holes in the FDAâ€™s analysis and continued concerns around GE salmonâ€™s risks to threatened wild salmon populations as well as Indigenous people who depend on wild salmon.
The company, the first one approved to sell genetically engineered animals for human consumption, announced plans last year to build an 11-acre â€œall in oneâ€� indoor facility, one of the largest in the world, in Pioneer, Ohio, to hatch, raise, process, and sell GE salmon.