California bans genetically engineered salmon.

salmonThe law, called AB 504, was signed by Governor Jerry Brown, which bans commercial production of in all of California’s state water.

The center for food safety has welcomed the announcement but warns of a dangerous in the bill which allows for the reproduction of GE and trout for purposes.. “California has taken an important step to protect its native and trout stocks. pose a serious risk to our waterways and our native fish ,” said Rebecca Spector, West Coast Director of CFS. “

The concern arises as and trout are raised in tanks located in tanks held right next to waterways containing the wild variety of the fish being engineered. Crossbreeding occurs quite readily and breeding tanks can be wiped out by storms allowing genetically fish to escape into natural water ways.

A previous 2013 study found that GE Atlantic can successfully cross-breed with , a closely related species, creating hybrid species. The researchers found that the hybrids not only grew faster than the non-GE , wild trout and wild-type hybrids, but in simulated stream conditions, hybrids were outcompeting both the GE and . This dynamic poses serious risks wild that are already under duress.

AB 504 provides for the following:

• Codifies the regulatory definition of “.”
• Extends the prohibition of spawning, incubation, or cultivation of salmonids in the Pacific Ocean to all waters of the state. The hatchery production and stocking of salmonids would be expressly prohibited.
• Prohibits or experimentation for the commercial production of salmonids.
• Authorizes the Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) to issue a specified permit for medical or scientific conducted on finfish species by accredited California academic institutions or private entities for only and not for commercial production. DFW is required to notify the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture and the California Fish and Game Commission upon receipt of a specified permit application at least 30 days prior to the approval or disapproval of the permit.
• Requires that any activities be conducted in a closed system that has eliminated the risk of escape of fish species and any potential disease they may transmit. It also requires a permit application to include a plan specifying the objectives and goals of the proposed .


Center for Food Safety

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