12-10-2019  2:09 pm   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Black Food Professionals See Opportunities to “Scale Up” in School Cafeterias and on Store Shelves

Two Portland women are addressing disparities in the local food scene with Ethiopian and Haitian flavors, ingredients

Portland Fire Chief Sara Boone Climbing Historic Ladders

In 1995, Boone was the first African American woman hired by Portland Fire & Rescue; this year she became its first African American Chief

Christmas Tree Shopping is Harder Than Ever, Thanks to Climate Change and Demographics

For Christmas tree farms to survive, shoppers will need to be more flexible

November Holiday Travel at PDX Brings More Comfort, Convenience and Furry Friends

If you’ve not been to Portland International Airport in a few months, you’re in for some surprises.

NEWS BRIEFS

EPA Approves Funding for Oregon and Washington to Improve Drinking Water, Wastewater Infrastructure

States estimate $190 million for wastewater, $35 million for drinking water projects in Oregon, and $120 million for...

Conservation Breakthrough for Endangered Butterfly

The Oregon Zoo's breeding success provides new hope in an effort to save Oregon silverspots ...

Meet 80 Local Authors at OHS 52nd Holiday Cheer Book Sale and Signing

This free Oregon Historical Society event will be held this Sunday, December 8 from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. ...

Need for Blood Doesn’t Stop for Holidays – Donors Needed

Those who come to give through Dec. 18 will receive a Amazon.com Gift Card ...

North Carolina Court Decision Upholds Removal of Confederate Monument

Lawyers argued that the monument was installed at the end of Reconstruction to further the false “Lost Cause” narrative,...

Former GOP gubernatorial candidate Buehler runs for Congress

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Republican Knute Buehler, who unsuccessfully ran for Oregon governor in 2018, announced his candidacy Tuesday for a congressional seat being vacated by Rep. Greg Walden. In a video, Buehler criticized what he called Portland liberals and elites in Washington DC, and said...

Seattle reducing speed limits to increase safety

SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced Tuesday that speed limits on city streets will be dropping to 25 mph as part of an overall million plan to increase safety.KOMO reports that in addition to the speed limit drop, the city will double the number of safety-enhanced traffic...

New Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz predicts success

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Eli Drinkwitz was saying all the right things after being introduced as the new football coach at Missouri, laying out his vision for the once-proud program with unwavering confidence and bold proclamations.Then the former Appalachian State coach made a minor...

LSU's Burrow, Auburn's Brown named AP SEC players of year

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is a unanimous selection as the offensive player of the year on The Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference football team.The top-ranked Tigers also have the SEC’s coach of the year in Ed Orgeron and the newcomer of the year in freshman cornerback Derek...

OPINION

Will You Answer the Call for Moral Revival?

In embracing and expanding the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Revs. Barber and Theoharis have asked Presidential candidates to consider a debate that focuses exclusively on poverty ...

What I’m Thankful For This Season

Ray Curry gives thanks for a human right that shaped our country throughout the 20th century and that made Thanksgiving possible for so many Americans who, like him, didn’t get here by way of the Mayflower ...

Congressional Black Caucus Members Visit U.S.-Mexico Border: “Mistreatment of Black Immigrants is Another ‘Stain on America’”

Members said they witnessed first-hand the deplorable treatment and plight of Black immigrants ...

Portland, I'm Ready

Last month I had the privilege to stand with hundreds of supporters and announce my intention to run for re-election ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Multistate voter database suspended in lawsuit settlement

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A much-criticized database that checks whether voters are registered in multiple states has been suspended “for the foreseeable future” until security safeguards are put in place as part of a settlement of a federal lawsuit, a civil rights group said...

In South Carolina, Steyer investing in black voters

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — In the waning weeks before South Carolina's president primary, Democrat Tom Steyer is renewing his focus on the black voters who play a pivotal role in the first-in-the-South state, rolling out a proposal to improve historically black colleges and institutions.The...

Georgia gov ordered to answer questions in election lawsuit

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp will have to sit for questioning about comments he made that seemed to express concern about minority voter registration, a federal judge has ruled.U.S. District Judge Steve Jones ruled that the Republican governor will have to answer questions as part...

ENTERTAINMENT

Led by 'Marriage Story,' Netflix dominates Golden Globe noms

NEW YORK (AP) — A Netflix wave swept over the 77th Golden Globe nominations, where the streaming company dominated with 34 total nominations, including four films up for best picture and four series nominated for the top television awards.Noah Baumbach's divorce drama “Marriage...

Bill Cosby sex assault verdict upheld; spokesman lashes out

Bill Cosby lost his bid to overturn his sexual assault conviction Tuesday, as an appeals court upheld the verdict in the first celebrity trial of the #MeToo era.In its ruling, the Superior Court affirmed the right of prosecutors to call other accusers to bolster their case — the same issue...

Netflix says more than 26M watched 'The Irishman' in 7 days

NEW YORK (AP) — Netflix says that 26.4 million households worldwide watched “The Irishman” in its first week of streaming. That figure includes those who watched at least 70% of Martin Scorsese's 3 1/2 hour crime epic. Netflix selectively announces viewership for its films and...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Newspaper criticizes film's take on Olympic bombing coverage

ATLANTA (AP) — After a bomb exploded in a downtown Atlanta park midway through the 1996 Olympics, a...

San Francisco aims to rein in tests of tech ideas on streets

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Tired of San Francisco streets being used as a testing ground for the latest delivery...

World trade without rules? US shuts down WTO appeals court

GENEVA (AP) — Global commerce will lose its ultimate umpire Tuesday, leaving countries unable to reach a...

Handke takes Nobel Literature Prize amid protest

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Author Peter Handke received his Nobel Literature Prize on Tuesday amid criticism of him...

In Sweden's Arctic, ice atop snow leaves reindeer starving

KIRUNA, Sweden (AP) — Thick reindeer fur boots and a fur hat covering most of his face shielded Niila Inga...

Parisians dodge strikes by logging on to share rides, bikes

ARGENTEUIL, France (AP) — Adrien Lachevre and Nailat Msoili live a few kilometers (miles) apart in Paris'...

McMenamins
Mary Clare Jalonick the Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A Massachusetts company is asking the Food and Drug Administration to approve the marketing of genetically engineered salmon, which would become the first such animal OK'd for human consumption.
The FDA has not yet decided whether to approve the product, but it is holding two days of hearings on the subject. Ron Stotish, CEO of AquaBounty, said at the meeting Monday that his company's modified fish are environmentally sustainable and safe to eat.
The agency has already said the salmon is as safe to eat as the traditional variety.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Tinker with the genetics of salmon and maybe you create a revolutionary new food source that could help the environment and feed the hungry.
Or maybe you're creating what some say is an untested "frankenfish" that could cause unknown allergic reactions and the eventual decimation of the wild salmon population.
The Food and Drug Administration hears both arguments Monday when it begins a two-day meeting on whether to approve the marketing of the genetically engineered fish, which would be the first such animal approved for human consumption. The agency has already said the salmon, which grows twice as fast as conventional salmon, is as safe to eat as the traditional variety.
Approval of the salmon would open the door for a variety of other genetically engineered animals, including an environmentally friendly pig that is being developed in Canada or cattle that are resistant to mad cow disease.
"For future applications out there the sky's the limit," said David Edwards of the Biotechnology Industry Association. "If you can imagine it, scientists can try to do it."
AquaBounty submitted its first application for FDA approval in 1995, but the agency decided not until two years ago to consider applications for genetically engineered animals - a move seen as a breakthrough by the biotechnology industry.
Genetic engineering is already widely used for crops, but the government until now has not considered allowing the consumption of modified animals. Although the potential benefits - and profits - are huge, many individuals have qualms about manipulating the genetic code of other living creatures.
Genetically engineered - or GE - animals are not clones, which the FDA has already said are safe to eat. Clones are copies of an animal. With GE animals, their DNA has been altered to produce a desirable characteristic.
In the case of the salmon, AquaBounty has added a growth hormone from a Chinook salmon that allows the fish to produce their growth hormone all year long. The engineers were able to keep the hormone active by using another gene from an eel-like fish called an ocean pout that acts like an on switch for the hormone, according to the company. Conventional salmon only produce the growth hormone some of the time.
In documents released ahead of the hearing, the FDA said there were no biologically relevant differences between the engineered salmon and conventional salmon, and there is a reasonable certainty of no harm from its consumption.
Critics have two main concerns: The safety of the food to humans and the salmon's effect on the environment.
Because the altered fish has never been eaten before, they say, it could include dangerous allergens, especially because seafood is highly allergenic. They also worry that the fish will escape and intermingle with the wild salmon population, which is already endangered.They would grow fast and consume more food to the detriment of the conventional wild salmon, the critics fear.
A wide range of environmental, food safety and consumer groups have argued that more public studies are needed and the current FDA process is inadequate because it allows the company to keep some proprietary information private. Modified foods are regulated under the same process used for animal drugs.
"It is outrageous to keep this vital information secret," said Wenonah Hauter, director of the advocacy group Food & Water Watch. "Consumers have a right to know what FDA is trying to allow into our food supply."
Dr. Michael Hansen, senior scientist at Consumers Union, the publisher of Consumer Reports, says the agency is relying on too little data, much of which is supplied by the company itself.
"FDA has set the bar very low," he said.
Ron Stotish, the chief executive of AquaBounty, countered that the company has more than addressed the concerns, and his product has come under much more scrutiny than most food.
"This is perhaps the most studied fish in history," he said. "Environmentally this is a very sustainable technology."
The company has several safeguards in place to allay concerns. All the fish would be bred female and sterile, though a small percentage may be able to breed. They would be bred in confined pools where the potential for escape would be very low.
In its environmental analysis of the fish released earlier this month, the FDA agreed with the company that there are enough safeguards in place.
Stotish says the fish would be bred in better conditions than many of the world's farmed salmon, and could be located closer to population centers to help feed more people. The company has also said the increase in engineered salmon production could help relieve endangered wild salmon populations.
The company is also arguing that the fish do not need to be labeled as genetically engineered, so the common customer would not know if they were eating the modified product or the conventional product. The second day of the FDA meeting will focus on the labeling question.
"This fish is identical to the traditional food," maintained Stotish. "The label could even be misleading because it implies a difference that doesn't exist."
At the meeting Monday, the FDA, the company and critics will present their findings to an advisory committee, which will in turn advise the FDA. A decision will come after the meeting, though it is unclear how long that will take. If approved, the fish could be in grocery stores in two years, the company estimates.
The industry says their job will be to counter the common impression that the modified salmon are "frankenfish."
"In the story of Frankenstein it was the fear of the people driving it, it wasn't the monster that was evil," says Edwards of the Biotechnology Industry Association. "If you look at the science and the safety and you look at the benefits, they become very exciting products."

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