Monday, 1 December 2014

Fish Farm Feed and GMO Plant Products

Fish farm fish feed can now contain genetically modified materials that pass antibiotic resistance to bacteria in the gut of farmed fish. The reason for so doing is that most of the world’s stock of small fish for feed, that the fish farm industry has had a large role in fishing down, rather than them being used to feed people, are in short supply. For example, anchovies in Chile. Now, plant material with the genes are being used because it is now cheaper than the small fish the industry is culpable for eliminating.

There are other issues: Norway had laws that were not in concert with the EU, it chose to allow fish farms to apply for an exemption to import GMO products with nineteen known genetic modifications, eight of which code for antibiotic resistance.

In a Google translation, the problem for humans who eat such farmed fish is:

“Antibiotic Resistant bacteria have become one of the greatest threats to global health. Only in the EU and EEA dies 25,000 people annually as a result of infections that we few years ago could treat. Antibiotic resistance is the bacterial defenses in the ancient arms race between bacteria and their enemies. Human use of antibiotics and germicides have made it an enormous advantage for bacteria having genes encoding antibiotic resistance.

If we fail to slow development, we and the generations after us have a far more slunkent medicine cabinets to defense, even against infections that today are perceived as banal. A recent report on antibiotic signed an interdisciplinary and independent experts were handed Health Minister Bent Høie in August this year, showing that the problem is growing in Norway.”

With Norway not following up on such products and providing an exemption for such feed, a consumer has no real assurance that a GMO antibiotic resistant product has not been used in Norwegian farmed salmon. It should also be noted that bacteria found in cold blooded fish, may not be active in warm blooded humans that eat the fish.

It is a twisted road in the past ten years regarding GMO use in farmed fish in Norway. Here is a part of that history:

“Yet the FSA since 2008 given dispensation to introduce eight varieties genetically modified feed with antibiotics. It all started in April 2004, when the EU introduced new rules for genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The so-called "GM-package" includes approval requirements for GMOs.

Norway had prior to 2005 no restrictions on imports of non-living, genetically modified feed, with or without antibiotic, and more genetically modified ground feed was probably used in feed or attempt. When the EU came with new accreditation requirements, altered Norway regulations to adapt the EU. Regulations for feed was changed in 2005 so that the FSA must approve each application for permission to import of genetically modified, not viable feed.”

Then, further on: “The Norwegian regulations have not yet been harmonized with EU regulations. Since 2008, feed producers sought FSA for exemption from the requirement for approval of the nineteen feed products. FSA has granted this exemption, due to the need to have genetically modified feed in reserve.”

“Thus feed manufacturers had to import genetically modified feed with genes coding for antibiotic resistance, but resistance among customers and the market has done that feed producers have not wanted to use the feed, and the genetically modified feedstuffs, according to manufacturers not been an ingredient in fish pellets since 2005.”

However, in 2014: “the FSA for the first time refusal to grant an exemption for fish feed producers. Because they have never availed itself of the exemption, says the FSA that it no longer "is no real need" for the goods. Now you must feed manufacturers seek approval pursuant to regulations on animal feed. Then it is far from certain that feed with genes coding for antibiotic resistance is allowed.”

And so on. A twisted story.

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