tv PBS News Hour Weekend PBS June 22, 2019 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT
newshour weekend test 6/22 captioning sponsored by wnet >> sreenivasan: on this edition for saturday, june 22: tensions over iran remain high; the president delays planned u.s. immigration and customs enforcement raids; and in our signature segment, the first in our series "the future of food"" genetically-modified salmon coming soon to a market near you. next on pbs newshour weekend. >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: bernard and irene schwartz. sue and edgar wachenheim iii. seton melvin. the cheryl a philip milstein family. dr. p. roy vagelos and diana ta gelos. the j.p.b. foundation. rosalind p. walter. barbara hope zuckerberg.
riorporate funding is provided by mutual of a-- designing customized individual ro and group retirementcts. that's why we're your tirement company. additional support has been provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting, and by ntributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. from the tisch wnet studios at lincoln center in new york, hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: good evening, and thanks for joining us. president trump said military action is still on the table and suggested iran may be facing more economic sanctions after thursday's destrtion of a u.s drone. on his way to camp did this morning, the president told reporters again that he called off a military strike on targets in iran when he learned 150 people might be killed, and said iran musend its development of nuclear weapons. >>he fact is, we're not going to have iran have a nuclear weapon.
and when they agree to that, they are going to have a wealthy country. : ey're going to be so happy. >> sreenivas tehran today, iran's foreign minister tweeted out maps that he claimed showed the u.s. dro had crossed into iranian airspace. the united states says the drone flying over international waters near the strait of hormuz. spokesman for iran's arm forces told an iranian news agency that any military action against iran would draw a"p" crushing re" and would be like "firing at a powder keg"in he region. joining me now is vali nasr. he's a middle east scholar and dean of johns hopkins school of vanced international stues and a former state department official. vali, where does this puiran, seeing that the president came so close to taking a retaliatory strike, but then not? >> well, i think the most important thing for iran was to capture trump's attention. for a very long time, iran wasge under a mount of economic pressure. the administration was fairly comfortable. trump did not have to focus much on iran, and the iranians took
actions to... to essentially get him out of his comfort zone and get him to have to take notice of iran and have to think s about where his policy gom here. in, i think they... they took a look... they're to look at his move as saying that, a, he's vulnerable to domestic pressur election's coming up, he doesn't r.nt to go to wa he just is not interested in military intervention, and there's gap between him and... and his administration. so, pressure tactic has worked. it also may have got trump now to think, what next? if he doesn't want to go to war, he has to think about diplomacy seriously. >> sreenivasan: but he's not >> sreenivasan: but does this create any sort of disincentive ir iran knowing that they can essentially, welthis is the level of brinksmanship that's going to happen and if they think, well, the president united states doesn't want to go to war, we can keep doing this to try to increase pressure on the uned states to decrease the economic sanctions. >> well, i mean, the p of pressure by the iranians is ultimately to get trump to come
to some sort of talks that wi release the pressure on them. so, at some point, they're hoping that trump would change tack. having said th don't trust trump. he walked away from the nuclear deal. they watched what he dd with mexico, signing a trade deal and then turning around and putting tariffon them. and they look at who's standing behind trump. they see bolton, they see pompeo, and they're very afraid that they're gtang to get into s, and it's going to come to nothing and they will be left with nothing. and so, i think they need trump to go an... an added mile to... to give assurances maybe using allies, intermediaries, maybe making some kind of a gesture in form of giving waiver to countries to by iran's oil, as a way of building trust with the iraniansi . ink that's the problem trump has. he wants to do diplomacy. he doesn't have credibility for doing it. >> sreenivasan: iranian position is, look, you guys started this. you pulled out of the deal. you are the one that's making r revolutionary guard members, labeling them terrorists. you're the one adding pressure internationally to ot countries.
eft to bhere, who's l able to broker some sort of a deal? i meanthe other countries tha are part signatories of the deal, they're stuck in this. >> well, they are, but... but they might perade trump to give them more... more room to maneuver. i mean, but the french, part, ularly, in euro the japanese, could possibly n persuade tru only to serve as intermediary just like prime minister of japan did in the last month, but also to be able to actually buy iran's oil, do some trade with iran, create some kind of a... a flow of cash in the iranian economy which give the iranians incentive for two things: a, to stay within the nuclear deal and don't... don't violate of it; and secondly, don't escalate tensions in the gulf untia more long-run process of negotiation can be figured out. >> sreenivasan: and how long could that take? >> it shouldn't ta very ng because i think the iranians are losing patience. they... they... it's they who are being choked to death. the united states is nng... is
not pany cost for maximum pressure. so, the iranians are motivated to continue to raise pressure on the u.s., to continue ttell trump that he's running a big risk, continuing on maximum pressureand he better come up with a... with an exit ramp quickly. otherwise, they're going to end up in a direct confrontation. so, i think iranians are not going to be waiting months for trump to figure this out. i think they're lookinat weeks in order for him to come up with a solution. >> sreenivasan: all right, vali nasr, thanks so much for joining us. >> thank you. >> sreenivasan: this afternoon, president trump called off immigration raids pland for tomorrow. in a tweet, the president said he is delaying the arrest and deportion of undocumented immigrants for two weeks "at the request of democrats, to see if the democrats and republicans can get togeth and work out a solution to the asylum and loophole problems at the southern border."
a few hours earlier, house speaker nancy pelosi issued a statement demanding that the tlesident halt the raids, calling them "s." the acting head of immigration and customs enforcement, mark morgan, said late yesterday that immigration raids were planned in ten cities across the country, targeting migrant damilies who have undocumente members and received final removal orders from a u.s. immigration court. morgan said the targeted families were sent letters in february but failed to report to authorities. >> right now, one of the greatest pull factors for families to come here is they know that once they arrive in the u.s., they remain here untouched. we have to change that message. >> sreenivasan: more than 20 of the democratic hs for their party's 2020 presidential nomination were wooing voters in south carolina today. the south's first imary state is a political barometer and is hosting the biggest political campaign weekend so far. many of the candidates made their pitches to votlast night at house majority whip jim clyburn's annual fish fry after attending a ate fundraising la.
south bend indiana mayor pete buttigieg was back in south carolina today after returnit home last ni deal with tense protests following the shooting of a black man by pa south beice officer. today's campaign events included the state party convention and planned parenthood forum on abortion rights. the first democratic candi debates are next wednesday and thursday in miami. thousands of climate chage activists confronted police in germany today to protest the expaion of a coal mine. the german ulity company r.w.e. is threating to chop down a nearby forest to make way for the planned addition.hu ndreds of officers were deployed to keep the gia pitn mine od nearby power plants operating. demonstrators blocked railroad tracks and broke through police barriers to entethe mine. the protests come just two days after european union leaderse failed to agreon a strategy for carbon neutrality by 2050. days before a planned conference in bahrain, the trump administraon unveiled its so- called "peace to prosperity plan," the first phase of whatll
it says ring peace to the mideast. the proposal says that it has" the potential to facilitate more than $50 billion in new investment over ten years" in the palestinian territorans of the westand gaza. president trump's son-in-law and kushner,dviser, jared will lead the u.s. delegation in bahrain, but neither israeli nor palestinian lewill attend. to read how ice agents operate during immigration sweeps, visit www.pbs.org/newshour. >> sreenivasan: tonight, we launch a pbs newshour weekend l series, "the future o food." over the coming months, we'll focus on stories around the world where efforts to fight food scarcity andonaste are ing. here's author mark bittman to inintroduce our first storhe series on the debate over genetically-modified salmon. >> bittman: fish is an important protein source for many people around the world, and we're eating more of it than ever before.
and with one-third of the world's stocks overf aquaculture has taken off, tripling production in the last 20 years. ye to date, fish farming h struggled with environmental problems just like land-based farming has. one small company is producing a genetically-engineered salmon it saysould help solve some of these problems and help meet the world's demand. others say it's a dangerous step in the wrong direction. megan thompson has more. this report is supported in partnership with the pulitzer center.ep orter: if you fly to the tiny province of prince edward island on canada's eastern coast, then drive abou hour east out of the capital city, you'll finally come to a small, marked building guarded by a chain-link fence. there's nothing special about it outside, but inside ianother story. these tanks contain the only genetically-engineered animal in the world that's been deemed
safe to eat: atlantic salmon t modifigrow faster. >> using new technology is an intelligent way toeet the global food security needs of the future. >> reporter: ron stotish is chief technology officer of aquabounty, e company producing the genetically- engineered, or "g.e.," salmon. >> we're going to run out of landnd run out of water to do what we're continuing to do unless we find a better way to do it. >> they know it's feeding time. yeah, theye pretty happy. >> reporter: it's a relatively gmall operation making bi waves-- 50 employees at three facilities in canada and the u.s., breeding, hatching and gring the salmon trademarked "aquadvantage." they hope to have it on the american market next year. it will be the final step in aro longss that began in another part of canada. the story of genetically- engineer salmon began nearly three decades ago here in neoundland, canada, at memorial university's ocean sciences center, one of the world's leading marine research labs.
in the 1980s, physiologist garth fletcher and his colleagues started reading about the first work being done create a genetically-modified mouse. >> and we said, "well, if they ybe do that in mice, ma can do that in fish." >> reporter: fletcher came up with the idea of altering orlantic salmon d.n.a. to get the fish to growquickly. >> because behind every s productitem is an accountant that says, "are we making any money," you know, "can we produce the fish fster, can we turn," you know, "turn the inventory over," type idea. >> reporter: a salmoowth hormones are more active during certain times of the year. fletcher thought, what if he could get the hormones to stay active all the time? he took d.n.a. from a fish called an ocean pout, which produces a special protein allar ong that helps it survive in frigid waters. fletcher toothe d.n.a. that keeps those proteins turned on and running, and connected itow to a salmon hormone gene which had the effect of keeping the growth hormone on. >> now it's free to run summer and winter i 'round.h, all year >> reporter: fletcher inserted
the gene into his saanon eggs waited to see what would happen.e >> so, in ring of 1990, we saw some big ones. so, we said, "ooh, maybe it's that." >> reporter: so, you could see that these fish were bigger? >> yeah, much bigger than the other ones. >> reporter: as scientists seeing that what you're doing is working, what does that feel like? >> well, we weri just amazed, t? >> reporter: fletcher patented his technology and started a compmey, which eventually beca aquabounty. his invention is still the center of its work, a genetically-engineered salm ton that groce as fast as regular salmon while actually consuming less the difference is significant; these fish are both about two years old. it's really hard to believe that these salmon are the same age, zeand there's such a huge difference between the two of them. >> this fish is five kilos, ready for mark. that fish is a long ways from market. o reporter: in the united states, the majorithe salmon consumed is atlantic salmon, but almost all of it is imported from ocean farms in norway, chile and canada.
that's because, in the u.s., wild atlantic lmon is endangered, so catching it is illegal. ocean farminis only permitted in a few places, and, until recently, there wasn't much interest in expensive, land-based production like aquabounty's. uc if you have a fish that grows a little faster,as an aquadvantage that reaches market weight in half the time, you can produce those fish almost anywhere because you can grow them in a land-based aquaculture facility closer to consumers. so, you can reduce the transportation cost. you can reduce the carbon footprint associatetiwith transporon. so, this... this opens up a whole new opportunity for global salmon production. ti reporter: ron stotish talks of producing atlsalmon in places it's never been done before-- like indiana, where aquabounty has set up its first american facility. >> and this is a... a hot smoked salmon preparation froa roughly five-kilo aquadvantage salmon. >> reporter: he gave me a tastef he product. it's delicious. >> ( laughs ) it's very good.
>> reporter: i mean, i think some people might think that this would taste somehow different than non-genetically- modified salmon, but it tastes exactly the same. >> it's exactly the same. >> reporter: aquabounty first applied for approval from the u.s. food and drug administration in 1995.it whil been regulating genetically-modified plants for more than 25 years, the f.d.a. had never approved a genetically-engineered animal as food before, and so it took them tw.decades to make a decisi and there was stiff opposition; protesters sent nearly two million comments to the f.d.a. and nearly 80 retailers vowed not to sell it. despite the concerns, in 2015, thtf.d.a. approved aquadvanage salmon, saying the product is "safe to eat," "has no significant impact on the environment," and it found "no biologically relevantet differences"en g.e. salmon and other farm-raised salmon. the next year, the canadiannt governave the salmon its stamp of approval, and aquabounty hit the market there
first, since selling a modest 20,000 pounds of its product. canadian opponents remain outraged. >> do we have the right to manipulate the d.n.a. of another living being? and... and i don't agree that that's something that humans should be able to do. >> reporter: sharon labchuk, of rtthe environmental group action, has helped lead the fight against g.e. salmon in canada for decades. she says no one can predict what will happen when peoart eating the fish over an extended period of time. >> we've had, say, 20 years or so experience in canof genetically-engineered plant foods, and we really don't know what are the health effects. >> reporter: so far, aquabounty has sold its salmon to distributors, and the ompany ys it doesn't know where it ended up after that. there's no requirement th restaurants or food services label g.e. salmon, and there's no requirement it beed in canadian stores, either.
>> people should have the right to have their fish labeled. and they should have a righto know whether they're eating genetically-modified salmon. >> reporter: and if it does end up being distributed in a store like this? >> nobody will know. there's no idea. ti reporter: it is a fact that somebody could be your product, and they wouldn't know it. why not just label it so people know what they're eating? >> as a small company, with your first offering, with a limited quantity, there's a huge risk sociated with just putting a label, "genetically-modified, genetically-engineered," on it. if it's identical to the traditional food, why... why put a label on it? >> reporter: but its d.n.a. has been altered. >>het's the same proteins, t same food that you've been consuming forever. >> reporter: but not everyone thinks it's that simple.t >>bare minimum, they must be honest with the consumer with what you're feeding your family. >> the senator from alaska. >> reporter: to senator lisa murkowski of alaska, theg ssue of label such a big deal
that she single-handedly delayed the sale of aquadvanta salmon in the u.s. for years. >> "frankenfish" is what we call it because it is so unnatural. >> reporter: as a member af the powerfropriations committee, murkowski attached a rider to a budget bill that s blocked the g.mon from being sold in the u.s. until the department of agriculture came up with rules for how it must be labeled. murkowski's home state of alaska is also the nation's leading seafood producer. cifimassive, wild-caught pa salmon industry is a source of state pride. murkowski even caut the huge pacific salmon mounted on her office wall herself. how much of this is about opposing this technology, and duw much of this is about protecting that ry and the politics surrounding that? us it is more than... than an industry. it is... it is an identity, and itmething that we are so keenly tied to.e the last thinged is the
introduction of... of some genetically-engineered, mutated sphies that could compete w our fld stocks for... fd and within habitat. >> reporter: what murkowski's worried about is the new g.e salmon somehow escaping and mingling with alaska'sev wild specie though the only places g.e. salmon is approved to be grown now are the aquabounty facilities in canada and indiana, from which the f.d.a. said there's an "extremely low likelihood" of escape. in canada, the aquabounty facility does sit right across from a river that flows into the atlantic ocean. >> all the water that's coming through here goes through these containment barriers, these sock filters. >> reporter: but, n stotish says, any water discharged into the river flows through at least five separate filters inside and more barriers outside.>> he likelihood of a... a two or three kilo salmon going through one of those filters, through one of those boxes, and running out across the street going through is... is
virtually zero. we've been operating for more than 25 years, and we've never lost a single fish. >> reporter: he knows this because every fish is microchipped and tracked. and even if they did escape, almost none could breed with ordinary salmon because aquabounty uses a process that it says renders about 99of them steri. >> so, i think that we are as safe as... as we can be. >> reporter: aquaculture expert yonathan zohar leads the denertment of ma biotechnology at the university of maryland. he provided expertise to the f.d.a. when it was deciding whether to approve e genetically-engineered salmon. zohar does believe the sterilization technology can be t.proved and is currently doing research on just t >> we developed a new technology to reduce... to produce sterile fih. >> reporter: but for now, zohar says there's another reason not to fear escaped g.e. salmon studies show they wouldn't survive long in the wild. >> they will not last for very long. wild fish are outcompeting them
when they're exposed to mother nature-type of conditions. >> reporter: zohar also wants to mind people that they're probably already eating a lot of genetically-modified food. >> i mean, in this country, about 70% of allhe plantable crops are genetically engineered, and people don't blink twice about it. we areacing a major, significant seafood crisis. simply said, more people eatre ish, and, as a result, we are fishing out and emptying our oceans. if you are going to use genetic engineering and produce a fish that is going to make it to the market size in half the time, this will b.e hu this will help aquaculture thtually meet the challenge and become the industrat we need it to become so we sfishing out the oceans. >> reporter: aquabounty is bettg on it. in march, the company got the green light to start business in the u.s. a few months after the u.s.d.a. issued labeling
guidelines for all genetically- engineered foods. ere are a few labeling options-- printing a symbol or the word "bioengineered" on theg pa or companies can print instructions on how to get more information. but some of those instructions don't have to mention the word ."ioengineered and that's a problem for senator lisa murkowski. >> y can go to the bar code scanner, if you will, and... and get a... get a reading, but you don't... you don't have the label that says that it is genetically-engi'sered. and thhat i'm concerned about. the f.d.a. didn't have any wsndatory labeling requirement. >> reporter: mur's pushing a bill to make the labeling more explicit. but no of this will matter if aquabounty's salmon end up in restaurants or similar institutions because no labeling is required there. in the meantime, aquabounty's gearing up production at its indiana facility, and its salmon could hit the u.s. market as early as the fall of 2020.
>> sreenivasan: chile-- already a leader in latin america for encycling, low co2 emissions, and other envirol measures-- will host the next united nations' global climate change conference this december. as lawmakers work roll out environmental initiatives ahead of the conference, a new food recycling initiative er way in one of santiago's poorest neighborhood >> each week the la pintana neighborhood collects roughly 140 tons of plant-based food wn te, much more tin many other parts of sanago. as part of a -fgovernmentunded program, workers in community recycling trucks, travel through la pintana's streets, handing out waste managent bins, collecting plastic bags of plant-based food waste hanging from fences, and teaching residents, like marina ortiz,
proper recycling techniques. >> ( translated ): they told us what we had to do-- put together tomato, potate oh, and all vegetable peels. >> ( translated ): why vegetables? n particular this i because they represented more than 50% of the total waste generated in home: >> sreenivasrkers take the fruit and vegetable waste to a composting center, where it's turned to fertiler for nearby community plant nursery. >> ( translated ): we started in 2005 looking for an alternative treatment that would allow us to save money so this all started with the intent to lower the part of the municil dget spent on waste management, which is the largest part of the budget which the municipality advantage geharally as its financial burden. intanaenivasan: for la p composting and food waste collection is an environmental step in the right directiond >> ( transla the waste jeoperated in the community is transferred to soil fertilizer that ends later in the community itself, ansum is the fundamental and basic ideato of what day is called "the
circular economy." >> sreenivasan: finally tonight, it may be a new scientif sign of possible life on mars. the "new york times" reportedto y that nasa's "curiosity" rover discovered high levels of methane gas in the martian air this past week. on earth, methane is usual produced by living organisms. "curiosity" was quickly sent new instructions to follownd those observations are expected to be transmitteaton monday. all for this edition of pbs newshour weekend. i'm hari sreenivasan. thanks for watching. have a good night. captioning sponsored by wnet captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org >> pbs newshour weekend is made
possible by: bernard and irene schwartz. sue and edgar waenheim iii. seton melvin. the cherylnd philip milstein family. dr. p. roy vagelos and diana t. vagelos. the j.p.b. foundation. rosalind p. walter. barbara hope zuckerberg. corporate funding is provideof by mutuaamerica-- designing customized individuan group retirement products. that's why we're your retirement company. additional support has been provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting, and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. be more. pbs.a be more.
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