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Media Advisory: Public Oral Argument in Center for Food Safety's Lawsuit Challenging the Approval of Genetically Engineered Salmon

August 24, 2020

Media Advisory: Public Oral Argument in Center for Food Safety's Lawsuit Challenging the Approval of Genetically Engineered Salmon

On Tuesday, August 25th, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California will hear arguments in Center for Food Safety's (CFS) lawsuit challenging the approval of genetically engineered (GE) salmon in the U.S.

WHAT: Summary judgment hearing before Judge Vince Chhabria in CFS's lawsuit challenging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's approval of GE salmon

WHEN: Tuesday, August 25, 2020, at 1 pm PT

HOW TO JOIN: Join via Zoom >>  Meeting ID: 161 285 7657; Password: 547298; scroll to bottom for more information on how to join the meeting.

CFS and allies filed the lawsuit in 2016. Tuesday's hearing is the final summary judgment oral argument in the case. The legal claims at issue are:

FDA claims it has no duty to protect the environment from GE salmon's harms (or environmental harms from any future GE animal); the Plaintiffs argue they do have that duty;
FDA's failure to meaningfully analyze the environmental impacts of the GE salmon and the full extent of Aquabounty's commercialization plans, violating the National Environmental Policy Act;
FDA's unilateral decision that GE salmon could have no possible effect on highly endangered wild Atlantic salmon and refusal to enter consultation with the expert federal wildlife agencies, violating the Endangered Species Act.


In 2016, CFS and Earthjustice—representing a broad client coalition of environmental, consumer, commercial and recreational fishing organizations, and the Quinault Indian Nation—sued the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approving the first-ever GE food animal, an Atlantic salmon engineered to grow quickly. The man-made salmon was created by AquaBounty Technologies, Inc. with DNA from three fish: Atlantic salmon, Pacific king salmon, and Arctic ocean eelpout. This marks the first time any government in the world has approved a GE animal for commercial sale and consumption.

The case is Institute for Fisheries Resources v. Burwell, Case No. 3:16-cv-01574-VC. CFS and Earthjustice are co-counseling the case on behalf of the following organizations: Institute for Fisheries Resources, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations, Golden State Salmon Association, Kennebec Reborn, Friends of Merrymeeting Bay, Cascadia Wildlands, Ecology Action Centre, Friends of the Earth, Center for Biological Diversity, Food and Water Watch, the Quinault Indian Nation, and the Center for Food Safety. 

Zoom meeting details:

 All counsel, members of the public and press please click the link or use the information below to join the webinar:

 Meeting ID: 161 285 7657

Password: 547298

Dial by location: 

+1 929 205 6099 US (New York)

+1 253 215 8782 US

+1 301 715 8592 US

+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)

+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)

Find your local number:

 For important information and guidance on technical preparation, please see



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