So, what do you get when you cross a Chinook Salmon with an Atlantic Salmon with an eelpout? In my mind…trouble, that’s what! Here’s the deal:
AquaBounty Technologies, a Massachusetts-based biotech company, has created what it calls the “AquAdvantage” salmon. Yep, salmon created in a lab, not gravel! They accomplished this feat by injecting a fragment of DNA from eelpout — along with a growth hormone gene from Chinook salmon — into a fertilised Atlantic salmon egg. The result? A salmon that produces growth hormone year round, instead of only during warm weather. This allows the fish to reach market weight in half the time of a real salmon.
The FDA is expected to approve the genetically engineered salmon after a 60-day public comment period. If approved, it will be the first approved food from a transgenic animal application to enter the U.S. food supply.
While fast-growing salmon seem like a grand plan, I am pretty leery of “better living through genetically messing with Mother Nature.” Though AquaBounty says their fish are sterile, environmentally sound, and have no chance to escape in the wild and, therefore pose no threat to wild fish populations, I’m still not so sure. Apparently, these fish eat five times more than wild salmon — and if they somehow got loose into the ocean, the AquAdvantage salmon could inflict major pain on native baitfish and salmon populations.
I wonder what they are going to feed these things?? The tuna farming business is wiping out baitfish populations around the world and I fear we could see something along the same lines here. And if the super salmon are not fed real baitfish..what then? I shudder the thought!
Then there’s the whole health question. Something about salmon completely engineered by humans makes me wonder about the nutritional value. Without labeling, will we be able to tell these things from wild fish in the market?
And you have other issues such as what effect these fish would have on US and Canadian fishing fleets and the businesses that support them.
Overall, it seems like a bad science project to me. Adding to the whole bad vibe I get is the fact that the FDA did some kinda sneaky business regarding this whole issue.
You should really read up on this and let the FDA know what you think. To sign a petition against Frankenfish, CLICK HERE (scroll to the bottom)
Nation of Change: FDA QUIETLY PUSHES THROUGH GENETICALLY ENGINEERED SALMON OVER CHRISTMAS BREAK
Nat Geo: FDA MISSES THE BOAT WITH GENETICALLY ENGINEERED SALMON
The Independent: GE FISH FOR DINNER
Grist: THE APOCALYPSE IS HERE