After a 20 year struggle by AquaBounty Technologies, The FDA approved AquAdvantage salmon fit for U.S. consumption in November of 2015. It contains a growth hormone gene from Chinook salmon and a genetic switch from ocean pout,(eel-like creature)that keeps the transplanted gene continuously active. The salmon’s own growth hormone gene is active only parts of the year. AquaBounty says it’s GE salmon is grown in tanks on land rather than in open-ocean tanks. Many opponents have concern about the risk for escape into the wild via rivers nearby, leading to unknown consequences of contaminating the ocean waters.
The Center for Food Safety, said it and other organizations would file a lawsuit challenging the approval. Some leading supermarkets have already said that they have no plans to sell it.
The current practice of using wild caught salmon as a food source is not sustainable; our oceans are overfished. The proposed “benefit” for the justification of this engineered animal is to reduce the pressure on wild fish stocks, but the consumption isn’t the primary pressure on wild Alaskan salmon, the destruction of their habitat is. There has been a surge of interest in developing new genetically altered farm animals and pets because new techniques, including one known as Crispr-Cas9, allow scientists to edit animal genomes rather than add genes from other species. That has made it far easier to create altered animals.
The Organic Consumers Association believes that GE salmon have more allergenic potencies, contain a carcinogenic growth hormone linked to cancers, have lower omega-3 to omega-6 ratio, and is likely to change the bacteria in your gut. While corporations continue to engineer fish and push for their commercial use, scientific evidence mounts regarding the extraordinary environmental danger these fish pose. Currently the human health impacts of eating GE fish are unknown.
Read the Organic Consumer's Association article here.
Read what the New York Times has to report about it here.
How do you feel about GE fish and animals? If you eat fish now would you be concerned about labeling or the potential health risks involved?