Monday, October 20, 2014

The Japanese have already cancelled several orders for U.S wheat after it was revealed this week that genetically modified wheat cropped up in an Oregon field and the Agriculture Department investigation has so far failed to uncover an explanation for the rogue plants.  Oregon House District 31 representative Debby Boone says she has long had concerns over the potential impact of genetically altered products such as wheat and salmon.

 

In her weekly legislative update rep. Boone states "This session I introduced House Bill 2175, to require labeling food that contains genetically modified ingredients.  Regardless of the continued debate of the pros and cons of genetically modification of food sources, it's my opinion that consumers have a right to know what is in the food they purchase and consume.  HB 2175 was assigned to the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee where it had a public hearing, but failed to receive a work session, so it died in committee. Along with Representative Paul Holvey D-Eugene, I also sponsored HB 2530, to prohibit the importation of genetically modified salmon into Oregon.  My biggest concern is that genetically modified salmon could escape into the wild with devastating consequences.  Canadian researchers say there is a risk of GM salmon mating with the closely related brown trout species to produce a hybrid fish.   GM salmon grow faster than normal salmon and scientists observed that their hybrid offspring grow even faster allowing them to out-compete existing species for food sources.    Oregon's seafood industry is renowned for its quality and is in high demand throughout the country and around the world.  If we were to allow GM salmon, and any escaped and reproduced, we could see a situation similar to the current Oregon wheat controversy, and the quality of Oregon seafood could be brought into question."

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