Did the Obama admin sit on an FDA report for political reasons?

posted at 3:31 pm on December 30, 2012 by Jazz Shaw

Second terms for US presidents tend to wind up being plagued with scandals of one sort or another, and you probably won’t be terribly surprised if the same thing comes to pass for Barack Obama. But what form will the scandal take? Benghazi? Fast and Furious? Something to do with the UN? All of those are still possible of course, but there’s a new story slowly bubbling to the surface right now, and it involves…. genetically modified fish.

The Food and Drug Administration released long-awaited documents Dec. 21 on genetically modified salmon: an assessment of the fish’s potential environmental effects and a preliminary “finding of no significant impact” of the fish on the environment. This brings AquAdvantage salmon — Atlantic salmon that has been modified with a growth hormone gene from chinook salmon so that it reaches maturity faster — a significant step closer to FDA approval.

Astute readers will notice that the recently released documents are dated May 4. So why were they just released Dec. 21 — seven months later?

In a Dec. 21 email, a spokesperson for the FDA explained it this way: “Yes there was a delay. As you are aware, we’ve been working on this for a while, and it was an oversight in our [quality control] process. We are working to address it now.”

You’re to be forgiven if this story – thus far – sounds about as exciting as watching paint dry. The genetic modification to the salmon apparently just allows them to grow to maturity much faster than regular fish, so it’s not like they have lasers in their heads or anything. But this particular FDA study – at least according to some sources – was actually concluded nearly two years ago. After those delays, it was allegedly really ready for release back in May. And yet it was released quietly on Friday, Dec. 21st, just as everyone was heading out for Christmas. Something smells fishy there, if you’ll pardon the pun.

At Forbes, Jon Entine has filed an extensive report on the subject which has far less to do with “Frankenfish” than it does with politics.

The seven month delay, sources within the government say, came after discussions late last spring between Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sibelius’ office and officials linked to Valerie Jarrett at the Executive Office, who were debating the political implications of approving the GM salmon. Genetically modified plants and animals are controversial among the president’s political base, which was thought critical to his reelection efforts during a low point in the president’s popularity.

The hurried release of the Environmental Assessment last Friday capped a frenzied two days behind the scenes at the White House and FDA. Within hours after the Slate article and leaked document were posted, an administration official notified the FDA that the administration was dropping its indefinite hold. “The White House had no place to hide,” said a government source. The “final” draft environmental assessment is identical to the document leaked to the GLP, but is dated May 4—two weeks later.

If this entire story proves out, it’s simply riddled with political poison pills. Apparently there are politicians on both sides of the aisle from the Pacific northwest and Alaska who do not want to see these GM salmon approved for general consumption since it will be a blow to the fishing industry. Also, elements of Obama’s voter base are allegedly opposed to GM animals and plants, though the reason for that totally eludes me.

But even more to the point, Obama originally swept into office claiming that the Republicans were the “anti-science party” and he was going to take the politics out science. Entine describes the White House block of the study’s release as, “a direct violation of numerous ethics regulations and possibly of federal laws.” But even if that weren’t the case, it would still be a stunning black eye for the administration which originally claimed it would change “the posture of our federal government from being one of the most anti-science administrations in American history to one that embraces science and technology.”

Look for this one to wind up in a congressional investigation after the holidays and the swearing in ceremonies are done. Also… I’d like to go on record before the end of the year predicting that at least one Democrat will refer to this as a “fishing expedition” as soon as the inquiry begins.


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…is the Pope Catholic?

KOOLAID2 on December 30, 2012 at 3:33 PM

Did the Sun rise in the East?

BallisticBob on December 30, 2012 at 3:34 PM

you probably won’t be terribly surprised if the same thing comes to pass for Barack Obama. But what form will the scandal take? Benghazi? Fast and Furious? Something to do with the UN? All of those are still possible of course, but there’s a new story slowly bubbling to the surface right now, and it involves…. genetically modified fish

,,,unlike other scandals…the MSM will ensure that nothing will be done!

KOOLAID2 on December 30, 2012 at 3:34 PM

Did the Obama admin sit on an FDA report for political reasons?

Are you kidding? Obama wouldn’t even think about such a thing! …He’d do it subconsciously.

Stoic Patriot on December 30, 2012 at 3:39 PM

Courtesy of RWM

Schadenfreude on December 30, 2012 at 3:39 PM

Entine describes the White House block of the study’s release as, “a direct violation of numerous ethics regulations and possibly of federal laws.” But even if that weren’t the case, it would still be a stunning black eye for the administration which originally claimed it would change “the posture of our federal government from being one of the most anti-science administrations in American history to one that embraces science and technology.”

…the MSM will be cutting slivers of raw potatoes… to have their news anchors placing them on those black eyes!…don’t want anything swelling!

KOOLAID2 on December 30, 2012 at 3:39 PM

Did the Obama admin sit on an FDA report for political reasons?

But, but, but the Darkworker was supposed to be above mere politics.

rbj on December 30, 2012 at 3:39 PM

Goebbels and Muenchhausen, Pinocchio, Orwell, Stalin…are all proud.

Schadenfreude on December 30, 2012 at 3:40 PM

Did the Obama admin sit on an FDA report for political reasons?

Rhetorical?

Rio Linda Refugee on December 30, 2012 at 3:41 PM

Entine describes the White House block of the study’s release as, “a direct violation of numerous ethics regulations and possibly of federal laws.”

Obama Administration breaking laws, violating ethics? Meh, must be a day ending with a “y”.

Midas on December 30, 2012 at 3:42 PM

Goebbels and Muenchhausen, Pinocchio, Orwell, Stalin…are all proud.

Schadenfreude on December 30, 2012 at 3:40 PM

You left out FDR

Rio Linda Refugee on December 30, 2012 at 3:42 PM

Can we have a thread devoted to discussion of the recent ‘canadafreepress’ linked article/interview?

Of infinitely greater import and critical timing than most topics, imo. Still wrestling with whether I believe it, or consider it just conspiracy theory – very interested in what others think about it.

Midas on December 30, 2012 at 3:44 PM

But what form will the scandal take? Benghazi? Fast and Furious? Something to do with the UN?

An illegal war in Libya? Firing IGs illegally to protect his political allies? Allying with an invading enemy to attack American states? Rending the Constitution and making a mockery of our institutions by declaring when the Senate is in session or not in order to skip confirmation for his officers? Extorting billions from corporations in the Oval Office as with BP? Actively working to have stopped any state help or mitigation in an oil spill mostly caused by federal agencies’ rush to put out a fire and sink a platform? Being ineligible for office and issuing jokes of forgeries of official documentation? Aiding and abetting islamic enemies of America to help pan-islamism sweep the arab world? Exposing America’s nuclear secrets to the enemy? Exposing the nuclear secrets of American allies to the enemy? Using private computers throughout his criminal administration to avoid public disclosure? Illegal campaign funding?

I could go on forever about the scandals that already took place nearly every week in the first term of the America-hating dog-eater. It will only get worse and more outrageous in his second term.

It’s time for a national divorce. There is no other choice, at this point.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on December 30, 2012 at 3:46 PM

We could fix a lot of this idiocy with about an 85% reduction in budget for the FDA.

crosspatch on December 30, 2012 at 3:47 PM

officials linked to Valerie Jarrett at the Executive Office, who were debating the political implications of approving the GM salmon.

Here’s the problem.Is there anything she doesn’t debate about the political implications?He hides behind her skirt.

docflash on December 30, 2012 at 3:49 PM

The second I read this story when it came out I assumed it was political that they waited. That is the type of people we are dealing with.

rob verdi on December 30, 2012 at 3:51 PM

Can we have a thread devoted to discussion of the recent ‘canadafreepress’ linked article/interview?

Of infinitely greater import and critical timing than most topics, imo. Still wrestling with whether I believe it, or consider it just conspiracy theory – very interested in what others think about it.

Midas on December 30, 2012 at 3:44 PM

Things that make you go, “Hmmmm.”

davidk on December 30, 2012 at 3:52 PM

officials linked to Valerie Jarrett at the Executive Office, who were debating the political implications of approving the GM salmon.

Here’s the problem.Is there anything she doesn’t debate about the political implications?He hides behind her skirt.

docflash on December 30, 2012 at 3:49 PM

She wields incredible power and influence, Where did she come from?

davidk on December 30, 2012 at 3:53 PM

It’s time for a national divorce. There is no other choice, at this point.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on December 30, 2012 at 3:46 PM

“divorce” is a nice word for it.

davidk on December 30, 2012 at 3:55 PM

IIRC, isn’t there many many things that wasn’t reported because of ‘political’ reasons/election time for bho? I bet there will be more that was held till after the election to help bho?

bho/jarrett/team are lying crooks that hide anything that might harm them? I really can’t think of ONE nice thing to say about bho, NOT ONE!
L

letget on December 30, 2012 at 3:56 PM

“divorce” is a nice word for it.

davidk on December 30, 2012 at 3:55 PM

Have to be PC on hotair, don’t you know :)

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on December 30, 2012 at 3:58 PM

Midas on December 30, 2012 at 3:44 PM

Did you mean this article?

PatriotGal2257 on December 30, 2012 at 4:02 PM

She wields incredible power and influence, Where did she come from?

davidk on December 30, 2012 at 3:53 PM

Jarrett is just the “on-scene handler” for lil barry’s puppet masters. She relays the orders and keeps him in line (as much as is possible) and strokes his ego.

Solaratov on December 30, 2012 at 4:04 PM

If YOU let your work sit on your desk from May 4th until Christmas vacation, I guess that makes you a government worker. Fire the person who let it sit on the desk. We only need the best most efficient, and Fearless employees at the government. No need to pay that one a pensions, yay.

a blow to the fishing industry

I don’t think so, the Alaskan and west coast salmons have “seasons” and have defined quantities, as far as I know. Living on the east coast we only get fresh west coast salmon in season.

Otherwise it is flash frozen on the boats, and if they sell it, it is thawed and marked previously frozen. I think this fish would be a local product and available year round from a farm, is that correct? I don’t think they are putting them into the wild, or there would be seasons with them too. What they want is to farm a fish quicker. And what I want is Tuna’s that Taste good…salmon, anyway.

Fleuries on December 30, 2012 at 4:07 PM

PatriotGal2257 on December 30, 2012 at 4:02 PM

I posted that article a few days ago. I don’t know if I was the first though. I’m sure many thought I was a nut job for doing so? But it was a FYI and I said I didn’t know if true or not? As far as I’m concerned, I would not be surprised ONE bit if this is true seeing how bho has/is doing thing to our nation! I think it is necessary to look at ‘what/might’ be in the plans from bho/team?
L

letget on December 30, 2012 at 4:08 PM

Does the Obamuh SADministration do anything but for a political reason? The most corrupt prezuhduncy EVUH!

stukinIL4now on December 30, 2012 at 4:12 PM

I can remember a time when there was the rule of law, not the rule of men.

petefrt on December 30, 2012 at 4:30 PM

Obama / his administration has NEVER delayed, covered up, committed felonious perjury, or lied to the public FOR PERSONNAL OR POLITICAL GAIN…

easyt65 on December 30, 2012 at 4:33 PM

But I am sure he did it for the good of the people. Or so it will be reported.

pat on December 30, 2012 at 4:34 PM

I can remember a time when there was the rule of law, not the rule of men.

petefrt on December 30, 2012 at 4:30 PM

Now it’s the rule of ‘God Obama’.

Schadenfreude on December 30, 2012 at 4:35 PM

letget on December 30, 2012 at 4:08 PM

No, I don’t think you have anything to worry about. You and everyone here should be free to post links to any article you wish and hopefully, people can read them if they wish to make up their own minds.

I read the Canada Free Press article and I didn’t know what to make of it myself.

PatriotGal2257 on December 30, 2012 at 4:41 PM

Who gives a crap? Fast & Furious went nowhere. Benghazi (Ben who?) is just about forgotten. Our impending economic doom has been adroitly stage-managed into something almost comical. The ever-dangerous EPA is managed through out-of-band alias email accounts. Worrying about the political hanky-panky surrounding genetically modified Salmon is not a good use of one’s time and misery.

bofh on December 30, 2012 at 4:54 PM

Does That One’s admin ever have non-political reasons for doing something?

Mr. Prodigy on December 30, 2012 at 5:03 PM

Why is the left scared of guns, scared of oil, scared of fish?

The left is all about fear man.

HondaV65 on December 30, 2012 at 5:03 PM

OK I get that it was politics that held up approval, and I also get that some connected industries might not be happy when this fish hits the market for general consumption. That said, shouldn’t this be considered good news overall?

NorthernCross on December 30, 2012 at 5:30 PM

No. His second term won’t be riddled by scandal and no this isn’t going to get noticed. This is nothing

earlgrey133 on December 30, 2012 at 5:30 PM

The good news is that this administration has a plan for people in the executive branch that make grave mistakes. The person at the FDA who failed to get this report out in a timely manner will be summarily dismissed required to turn their desk away from the window, and will not be allowed to attend this week’s department luncheon at TGI Fridays.

BKeyser on December 30, 2012 at 5:56 PM

Everything Obama and his merry band of Marxists do is for self serving, political purposes. Doesn’t it make you proud to be an American?

rplat on December 30, 2012 at 6:11 PM

Quel surprise! Gee, imagine Obama acting for political reasons. Hardly seems possible. /s

College Prof on December 30, 2012 at 6:15 PM

Did you mean this article?

PatriotGal2257 on December 30, 2012 at 4:02 PM

I do.

Midas on December 30, 2012 at 6:42 PM

Entine describes the White House block of the study’s release as, “a direct violation of numerous ethics regulations and possibly of federal laws.”

Since when has this administration been concerned about ethics and federal laws?

GarandFan on December 30, 2012 at 6:45 PM

The “reason for that ” [opposing genetically modified foods] “totally eludes [you]?

No prior biochemical disasters pawned off as progress come to mind?

None?

Common sense (and past mistakes with their fatal unintended consequences) dictates that you do not release things into the environment without proper study and precautions.

Side effects in marketed medicines are easy to withdraw.

In Nature, not.

Why shouldn’t consumers of this potential genetic witch’s brew be forearmed by being forewarned?

The reason for opposing that eludes me.

profitsbeard on December 30, 2012 at 7:31 PM

The most transparent…oh, forgetaboutit. I’m sure they’ll find a way to blame Sarah Palin since she fishes for salmon in AK.

Kissmygrits on December 30, 2012 at 7:34 PM

Second terms for US presidents tend to wind up being plagued with scandals of one sort or another, and you probably won’t be terribly surprised if the same thing comes to pass for Barack Obama.

.

On the contrary, I’d be EXTREMELY surprised if that happened.The messiah must be protected, no matter what.

Can we have a thread devoted to discussion of the recent ‘canadafreepress’ linked article/interview?

Of infinitely greater import and critical timing than most topics, imo. Still wrestling with whether I believe it, or consider it just conspiracy theory – very interested in what others think about it.

Midas

It is a conspiracy theory. So is Ulstermann’s stuff, and so is Lame Cherry’s stuff.

xblade on December 30, 2012 at 7:41 PM

It’s just silly to think this is purely political.
They are probably investors too.
Follow the money.

Kenosha Kid on December 30, 2012 at 8:07 PM

Did the Obama admin sit on an FDA report for political reasons?

I’d be shocked if they didn’t.

coldwarrior on December 30, 2012 at 8:28 PM

GM fish???

What?

GM cars aren’t selling to well?

coldwarrior on December 30, 2012 at 8:30 PM

Did the Obama admin sit on an FDA report for political reasons?

I’d be shocked if they didn’t.

coldwarrior on December 30, 2012 at 8:28 PM

I don’t know if it was justified on the basis of environmental impact or not, although I would expect that to come from EPA rather than FDA.

What I m sure of is that at the end, you will find that the reason is that a BOD (Big Obama Donor) didn’t want it released for whatever reason- or at least not before they had gotten what they wanted. (Waiver, exception, control of the company involved, etc.)

That’s just the way the Lightworker rolls.

clear ether

eon

eon on December 30, 2012 at 8:57 PM

The left is all about fear man.

HondaV65 on December 30, 2012 at 5:03 PM

Don’t forget hate.

Dr. Frank Enstine on December 31, 2012 at 6:47 AM

GM food may stand as one of the great contributions to mankind in over a century! The answer to Malthus has shown to be, time and time again, technological innovation. Sure, big SALMON is opposed to the introduction of cheaper products at comparable quality. And that means much of our government will stand opposed to it. We should all DEMAND that the fig leaf of environmental protection (the GM fish are sterile and so cannot out compete natural varieties) be exposed for what it is.

MJBrutus on December 31, 2012 at 9:06 AM

There is a reason they start this out with fish. Can you imagine the reaction if they started out with GM beef?

TturnP on December 31, 2012 at 4:07 PM