Ben & Jerry's joins GM salmon protest

Ice cream maker Ben & Jerry's weighed in on the debate over genetically modified salmon at a protest in Washington, D.C., Thursday.
Ben & Jerry's CEO Jostein Solheim fears genetically engineered salmon will lead to the alteration of other animals in the food supply. ((CBC))

Ice cream maker Ben & Jerry's weighed in on the debate over genetically modified salmon at a protest in Washington, D.C., Thursday.

The protest in Washington was timed to coincide with a news conference by people opposed to the salmon at the Aqua Bounty facility in Prince Edward Island. Aqua Bounty is approaching the end of a years-long process to have its genetically modified salmon approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

A coalition of groups from both the U.S. and Canada organized the P.E.I. news conference and Washington rally.

Speaking at the Washington protest, Ben & Jerry's CEO Jostein Solheim said his company won't use products consumers are not interested in buying.

"Most Americans do not want to eat food made from genetically engineered animals ... Ben & Jerry's certainly has no interest in using foods from animals that are genetically engineered in our product," said Solheim.

"Today it's a fish that we're talking about, but very soon it will be a genetically engineered pig, a chicken, even, God forbid, our beloved cows."

Scientists from the FDA have produced a report concluding the Aqua Bounty salmon, engineered to grow at twice the normal rate, are not significantly different from other salmon as a food. The FDA will hold public hearings on the fish Sunday and Monday.