Monday, January 28, 2013

genetically engineered salmon nearing approval--IS IT KOSHER? thoughts from friends

How Jackie Mason become a Comedian after being a Rabbi:

What Would My Greatest Role Models Say to Me?

Ask yourself this valuable question: "What would my greatest role models say to me now?"

Think of different people you respect and admire, both people you now know and people you've known in the past. Think of people whose books you have read or whose recordings you have heard. Think of great people in the past that you now wish you could have learned from in person.

It's helpful if you write down a list of the names of these great teachers and role models. Now review your list and ask yourself about each one: "What are some of the main lessons this person would teach me?"

You can have many inspiring and enlightening self-conversations by imagining that the greatest people who ever lived were asking you questions. So ask yourself, "If so and so were to ask me an insightful question about myself and my life, what do I think he would ask me now?"

When you use your imagination and stored knowledge to have self-conversations with great people, you will find yourself having many meaningful and inspiring self-conversations about important topics and subjects.
Love Yehuda Lave


This is a photo by Andy Martinez of the Eel Pout Bottom feeder that has been Genetically Mixed with Atlantic Salmon Genes to produce a New Fast Growing Super Size Supermarket Offering ready by 2014 with FDA Blessings. The FDA has already approved this fish that will be imported from Panama. The Alaska Wild Caught Salmon Industry is a bit concerned that this further contribute to their economic woes. It will not be Labeled in the Store, simple offered as Farm Raised. Only the remaining Wild Caught Salmon will be GE Free. Does this sound Kosher?

Lisa Goldwag Kassner, San Fernando Valley Co-Coordinator
Los Angeles County Label GMOs Campaign coordinator is concerned that many Jewish People do not know that eel bottom feeders are part of the new GE Salmon. She is specifically asking Jewish people and others concerned about what they put into their bodies to take action. Eel is not a Kosher Fish. If a mere 300,000 more people had voted Yes on Prop 37, at least we would have started to Label GMOs.


I want to forward as well this Email from
Lisa Kassner_The Label GMO Campaign Coordinator for the San Fernando Valley-and LA County.:

Begin forwarded message:

From: Lisa Kassner-Labelgmos <>
Subject: TIME DATED: help pls: treyf? genetically eng.salmon nearing approval - health&env issue too
Date: January 25, 2013 3:14:19 PM PST
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

My dear Jewish friends who care about GMOs,

We don't have much time to make the Jewish community aware that genetically engineered salmon with eel genes (flier attached with FAQs) is NOW being considered for approval by the FDA.  The comment period ends on February 25. They are not getting a lot of input and we need to change this.

Is this fish kosher?  There is no firm across the board from the Jewish leadership about whether it is or it isn't.  But I can tell you this.  The general response among Jews is: "Yuck, I don't want to eat that!"  But without labeling, we won't know if we are eating it or not.  We went for labeling in Prop. 37 but the health and environmental issues surrounding this fish indicate it would be great to keep the AquaBounty salmon off the market altogether. 

The goal here is let people know this issue even exists, and to encourage them to act now.  You can help by:
1. Pursuing press coverage - Below is a letter I wrote to the Jewish Journal.  Can you similarly pursue press coverage or Jewish community awareness on this issue in your area?  I have attached a sample letter to the editor but it does not touch on the Jewish issues.  If you need help on what to write, please let me know. 
2. Handing out fliers - see attached flier
3. Telling people about this issue in any way you can - even a simple rally could help (info attached)
4. Doing the suggested ideas below.

What are the goals in what you do? The actions most encouraged among the public at this time are:

1. comment on Food and Drug Administration docket!submitComment;D=FDA-2011-N-0899-0001
For the required field "Organization Name," please enter "Citizen."
2. call President, U.S. Senators and your Congressional representative to urge them to urge the FDA to not approve this fish
3. NEW!  participate in a campaign petitioning, calling and writing supermarkets to ask them if they would carry genetically engineered salmon when it comes available, and tell them we won't shop in their store anymore if they do.  This is in hopes of keeping it from being sold, and such campaigns have had success before. Organic Consumers Association is coordinating this campaign.  Here's a link:

4. attend or organize a rally in your area on February 9 - or Sunday February 10 -    see:

NOTE: If this fish makes it onto the market, it won't be labeled in the U.S. (except in Alaska) so to avoid it, you'd have to avoid all farmed salmon.  Boycott of farmed salmon is a potential idea.  But it's environmentally important this fish doesn't get that far.

I hope I can count on you!  Do write me and say hi and let me know.

All the best to you and your family, and Shabbat Shalom!

Lisa Kassner
San Fernando Valley Co-Coordinator
Los Angeles County
Label GMOs Campaign -
"We have the right to know!"

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Lisa Kassner-Labelgmos <>
Date: Fri, Jan 25, 2013 at 2:20 PM
Subject: treyf? genetically engineered salmon nearing approval - coverage for Jewish, health & env.issue needed
To: Jonah Lowenfeld <>, Rob Eshman <>

Dear Rob and Jonah,

I am writing to ask you to provide some coverage on the very current issue of genetically engineered salmon.  As you may recall, I was the co-author of the article on labeling of genetically engineered foods for the Jewish Journal in October.

You probably know that the FDA is moving forward with approval of the AquAdvantage salmon with poutfish (eel) genes.  Right now we are in the public comment period regarding environmental safety, and as soon as the end of February, the FDA may make its decision.  There are serious health, environmental concerns about this fish.  Despite the hundreds of consumer, environmental, health, animal rights & other organizations who have filed arguments and hundreds of thousands of individual comments the FDA has received, they are still moving forward without even a full environmental impact report or adequate health studies.  The attached 2-page flier has FAQs on this issue.

As you know, there is a definite Jewish angle on this issue. 
 Because Prop. 37 did not pass, this fish will not be labeled beyond being "farm raised."  MANY JEWS WILL NOT WANT TO EAT THIS FOOD.  It goes beyond whether mashgichim approve it or not.  And MANY JEWS DON'T EVEN KNOW ABOUT THIS POTENTIAL PROBLEM.  The L.A. Times didn't even mention the eel genes in their article on 12/21/12 on this issue. 

If the Jewish community knew about it, we would speak up.  I know you at the Jewish Journal care about the needs and interests of our community.

Would you consider:
attending and reporting on our Global Day of Action rally which will take place on Saturday, February 9
   see: - it will be in Santa Monica at 11 a.m. till approximately noon or after
writing an article
printing a guest editorial from me
printing a letter to the editor from me
 Salmon Rally LA.jpg

I look forward to hearing back from you. Thank you so much for your consideration.
Lisa Goldwag Kassner
San Fernando Valley Co-Coordinator
Los Angeles County
Label GMOs Campaign -
"We have the right to know!"

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