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Excerpt: "A collaboration between two of the most environmentally damaging industries on land and sea - the soy and open ocean aquaculture industries, respectively - could be devastating to ocean life and consumer health."

Monsanto and Cargill hope GM soy will be used to feed fish in open ocean pens in federal waters. (photo: Food & Water Watch)
Monsanto and Cargill hope GM soy will be used to feed fish in open ocean pens in federal waters. (photo: Food & Water Watch)



Ocean-Farmed Fish, Brought to You by Monsanto and Cargill

By Food & Water Watch

03 July 12

 

Soy Industry Stands to Gain Hundreds of Millions Annually from Open Ocean Aquaculture

f proponents of soy in aquaculture have it their way, soy will be used to feed fish in open ocean pens in federal waters, a move that would negatively impact the marine environment as well as the diets of both fish and consumers.

Food & Water Watch and Food & Water Europe's new report, "Factory-Fed Fish: How the Soy Industry is Expanding Into the Sea," shows how a collaboration between two of the most environmentally damaging industries on land and sea - the soy and open ocean aquaculture industries, respectively - could be devastating to ocean life and consumer health. And since much of the soy produced in the United States is genetically engineered (GE), consuming farmed fish would likely mean eating fish that are fed GE soy.

"Our seas are not Roundup ready," said Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food & Water Watch. "Soy is being promoted as a better alternative to feed made from wild fish, but this model will not help the environment, and it will transfer massive industrial farming models into our oceans and further exacerbate the havoc wreaked by the soy industry on land - including massive amounts of dangerous herbicide use and massive deforestation."

The powerful soy industry, which is well represented in Washington, D.C. and Brussels, stands to gain over $200 million (€160 million) each year by aggressively promoting the use of soy to feed farmed fish at a time when more and more consumers are eating seafood sourced from aquaculture or fish farms. Close to half of the seafood we consume globally comes from these factory fish farms.

Unfortunately, increased use of soy in fish feed could do greater harm to the health of fisheries by increasing the amount of soybeans grown. Like other monoculture crops, soybeans require large amounts of fertilizer for their production. Much of this fertilizer gets washed off the fields and into waterways that eventually lead to important fisheries such as the Gulf of Mexico or the Chesapeake Bay. The nitrogen and phosphorus from this fertilizer contributes to the dead zones in these fisheries, reducing the number of fish that live there and the ability of fishermen to catch them.

Relying on soy to feed farmed fish could also have devastating affects on consumer choice. In 2007, there were total of 279,110 soybean farms. A 2008 report indicated that only 1,336 soybean farms were certified organic, which do not allow the use of GE crops. This leaves a lot of room for non-organic soybean farms to produce crops from GE seeds. GE soy-fed fish would probably not need to be labeled, so consumers wouldn't know that they were eating fish fed with GE soy. Considering that Monsanto and Cargill would be big players - two agribusinesses that use GE seeds - this scenario seems likely.

While the soy industry is busy promoting soy as an environmentally friendly alternative to fish feed from wild fish, it is clear that soy is not a natural food for fish to eat, and that its use can be destructive to ocean ecosystems. Fish have a difficult time digesting it, and it causes nutrient deficiency. As a result, fish tend to produce excessive amounts of waste, which attracts disease and bacteria, and disrupts the normal ecology of the immediate marine environment.

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+17 # pianosaurus rex 2012-07-03 09:27
Here in British Columbia, Canada, I do not know anyone who purchases this drug filled garbage that is passed to consumers as a food product. There are no restaurants I am aware of in Vancouver that serve any farmed fish at all.

We have just had ISN found in two or maybe three farms; all of the stock was seized and removed, then destroyed.
But we have the fish farmer telling us it is perfectly safe to eat.

Here is the question of the year; If that is indeed the case then why not process the seized fish into purchasable products? A little consternation about a liability case later I presume?


For a lot of information about fish farms, type in the name Alexandra Morton to search.
 
 
+13 # Todd Williams 2012-07-03 10:13
On a recent surf trip into the Central Baja, I saw several large fish farms about a half mile offshore. Knowing Mexico's very lax enforcement of environmental regs, I doubt that these fish farms complied with any environmental or food standards. Remember, we in the U.S. often find imported fish in our stores
 
 
+25 # Lolanne 2012-07-03 10:52
It's getting to the point that there is NOTHING safe to eat left! Monsanto and Cargill are monsters and should be treated as such -- prosecuted for fouling our food supply on land and how trying to do it in the ocean as well. Monstrous is the only word to describe them.
 
 
+19 # Vardoz 2012-07-03 11:19
This is so true. We buy small packs of oganic chicken and buy organic locally. We never go to the big super markets because everything they sell even if they call it organic is a lie and most foods are now filled with pesticides, GMOs, synthetic hormons and heavy metals!!! When you look up all the crap that are in non-organic produce, it is lterally a multitude of cancer causing pesicides not to mention what is in our air and water. I wrote an article in the 70's that was published an it was called "Our Poisoned Planet." I worte this just after I read an article about how terrified scientists were about the coming chemical explosion. And here we are folks. The 34 yr old substance control act permits companies to put tens of thousands of cancer casuing chemicls in our air and water without having to prove if they are safe or not or even what they are!!!! Alll this thanks to corrupt reps who would trade our lives for profit. The notion of profit above all else is a suicide mission for man and animal kind and is my opinion a form of insanity.
 
 
0 # Nominae 2012-07-05 00:19
IMHO it is *thorough* insanity based upon three easily observable facts :

1. Human beings cannot EAT money.
2. Human beings cannot DRINK money.
3. Human beings cannot BREATHE money.

The foregoing facts apply not only to the consumers under attack, but to *all* human beings, even those cloistered in their gated bunkers protected by their private armies and their gi-huge-ic bank accounts.

There is *no* "end game" in ANY of this for ANYbody.

If my math is correct, that adds up to *total* insanity.
 
 
+18 # Vardoz 2012-07-03 10:55
There are so many toxins in fish everywhere we don't eat it anymore. On a recent documentary Pillip Cousteau, the marine biologist, was tested at the CDC for toxins in his and his team's blood. All of them had high levels of PCB,s Mercury, flame retardents and pesticides. It is amazing how these companies are so willing to poison us and our flora and fauna without any consideration for the consequences. Consequences in general when it comes to industry have no consideration of the impact thay have on anything except their profits. They are willing to destroy everything for profit and it has gone too damn far!!!!! They are killing us and our environment!!!
 
 
+12 # patmonk 2012-07-03 12:39
Is This Any Way To Be Safe.
Two reputable organisations, Greenpeace and SeaFoodWatch, recently gave Safeway a top rating for their Sustainable Seafood policy. They have been offering Copper River and Wild Caught Atlantic Salmon. I'm continuing by consumer research but does anyone have any more information on how and where they source this product.
You may be aware that here in California we have a measure on ballot for November's election requiring that all GMO foods sold in the state be labeled as such. A small step but one that, if successful, could set a powerful precedent. Please visit our campaign sites and support us in any way you can. Frequent unreported items also posted on my Facebook page.
Thank you.
Patrick Monk.RN. SF. Ca.
www.carighttoknow.org
www.labelgmos.org
 
 
0 # Nominae 2012-07-05 00:28
Mr. Monk:

One stellar source for accurate and trustworthy research is Organic Consumer's Association (organicconumer s dot org).

Another very helpful site is the American Association for Environmental Medicine (AAEM)at aaemonline dot org. See their medical position paper on GM Foods, and descriptions of many food-related disorders.

BEST of luck on the CA initiative. It is no news that Monsanto is heavily betting against it.
 
 
0 # Nominae 2012-07-05 00:43
P.S. to Mr. Monk

In re: Salmon, even if they are sourcing the Salmon from exactly where it sounds like - the Atlantic, that salmon will carry prohibitive levels of mercury, even if it were otherwise pure (which is presently a sad joke).

The only sources remaining for safe (or for low-mercury) salmon are the cold waters off of Norway, and some places in Alaska. If you can, insist on Norwegian sources, bcuz recently some salmon sold as "Organic Wild Alaskan" was traced right back to Pacific Salmon Farms.

Actual Wild Alaskan, even if you can find it, will run well over $24.00 per lb. (so will some of the rip-offs, just to make you think it's real). Good thing Salmon have a very tightly-knit flesh, and a little cut goes a long way.

The above-named websites will help guide you to safe foods and fish, to the degree that such still remain available.
 
 
+5 # paulrevere 2012-07-03 14:18
From Wikipedia..."Th e most common fish species raised by fish farms are salmon, carp, tilapia, European seabass, catfish and cod."

Add shrimp from China, Thailand and Ecuador...the farms are most often found at the confluence of large rivers and the oceans where, it just so happens, the sewage and contaminants from unchecked 'everything' are at high concentrations.

www.foodandwaterwatch.org
 
 
+2 # mtravis 2012-07-03 18:54
pianosaurusrex - I too live in BC and was told that the label "OceanWise" was a guarantee that the fish served by a resaursant with that label served local fish. Recently we had dinner at the new & lovely Cactus Club. It is currently Spot Prawn season here so I asked the waiter where Cactus Club gets their prawns. She replied thst she would do some research and returned with the answer "The prawns are from Thailand".
 
 
0 # Bigfella 2012-07-04 00:08
Asia prawn are feed antibiotics to keep them growing fast this is having a flow on down and up the food chain ...rivers are polluted by antibiotics and so are prawns and you..any wonder why we have super bugs!
 
 
+1 # de_rougemont 2012-07-03 21:06
Will the Calif. ballot measure requiring labeling of all foods GM or containing GM ingrediants include fish FED GM soy?Visited China in 2010 and saw fish farms on the Yangtze in waters so polluted as to make rivers here seem 'clear'. Have avoided all fish since the mercury levels were posted except for some trout and wild salmon and what I thought was safe tilapia. All that's off the table now.
 
 
0 # Bigfella 2012-07-04 00:12
GrrrrH The pill flows into the sea via urine and stuffs things up now GM when growth hormons from GM are turning up in cows milk...Giant squid are breeding in South Americian waters have exploded population wise due to shark removal and over fishing NOW THIS! Well, before you blow your brains out. Get rid of these people who own and produce this stuff please!
 
 
0 # Terrapin 2012-07-04 20:01
Don't eat the Frankenfish!
 

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