Bias reporting in the Frum media ?
http://www.jewishjournal.com/opinion/article/genetically_engineered_salmon_coming_soon_to_a_bagel_near_youThe Food & Drug Administration (FDA) is taking public comments through April 26, on whether to approve the first genetically engineered (GE or GMO) animal species: Atlantic salmon with chinook salmon and ocean pout (eel, non-kosher) genes forced into its DNA. Manufacturer AquaBounty plans to sell it without a GE label. You won’t know you are eating it.Over 300 consumer, health, fishing, environmental, parent, and animal rights groups are opposing FDA approval. Los Angeles City Council unanimously opposes it. Whole Foods & Trader Joe’s pledge not to sell it.HEALTHDr. Michael Hansen, Senior Scientist at Consumer Reports writes that the FDA determination of no significant health risk is based on manipulated data & inadequate studies. Allergy risk findings were based on only 6 fish, and those allergic to finfish could experience severe reactions.Friends of the Earth writes, “GE salmon are unhealthy & suffer from skeletal deformities, jaw erosions, inflammation, lesions, increased disease & mortality, raising serious human health concerns from eating sick fish. Overall, GE salmon have 40% higher levels of IGF-1.” “IGF-1 is a hormone associated with increased risk of cancers, especially prostate, breast, colorectal & lung,” adds Hansen.The Center for Food Safety summarizes that the science is not there to say these fish are safe to eat.KASHRUTThe Orthodox Union says GE salmon is kosher, because it has fins & scales.However, even though some authorities currently state that this fish is kosher, there are Jews who will reject it, saying, “it’s not kosher to me.” Views ranged from a sense of kashrut to “it’s not the natural, healthy food G-d created for us.”Rabbi Elihu Gevirtz of Netiya said the Torah prohibits eating swimming animals that do not have both fins & scales. Eel lacks scales, suggesting GE salmon might not be entirely a salmon, and therefore may not be kosher. Also, creation of a part-fish, part-eel seems impermissible as a violation of the Torah’s prohibition to mix species.Brooklyn Orthodox Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Serebryanski said, even though a small amount of a non-kosher food doesn’t usually render a food non-kosher, it does when it becomes an intrinsic part of the food. It is prohibited to genetically engineer salmon with eel genes because such boundary crossing is prohibited by the Creator. Using genetic engineering to cross boundaries set up by the Creator creates an imbalance and distortion.ENVIRONMENTGE salmon raises serious concerns about the survival of native salmon. AquaBounty says its fish will be infertile & can't escape their controlled environment. But the FDA allows for 95% sterility, and there will certainly be fertile fish that produce the GE eggs. Fish & eggs can escape through water recirculation systems. Market competition may potentially push all fish farms to raise AquaBounty’s GE eggs. Most farms are on coastlines. Thousands of farmed fish escape annually.Could escaped GE salmon out-compete native salmon for habitat, food and mates, causing extinction of native salmon?
http://www.jewishjournal.com/letters_to_the_editor/article/letters_to_the_editor_kosher_lettuce_christianity_childrens_art_and_eric_roFollowing the Letter and Spirit of KosherReading Jonah Lowenfeld’s “Can We Afford Kosher Lettuce?” (Jan. 27) was a déjà vu moment for my wife and me. We, too, bought the special worry-free, super-kosher romaine lettuce with the rabbinical seal of approval for our Pesach seder — and immediately came face to face with an enormous slug.According to the Rabbinical Council of California (RCC), that’s not a problem, because “that’s not the bug we’re worried about.” Well, I have news for the RCC: That very much is the kind of vermin consumers don’t want to find in their pricey, rabbinically supervised, guaranteed-kosher vegetables. Our family is not bothering with RCC-certified lettuce again, unless the RCC somehow wins back its credibility — especially after the article indicates that our own vegetable washing can be more effective.Paul KujawskyValley Village
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