AquAdvantage GE salmon vs. Atlantic salmon…which would you rather eat?
so the FDA decided it needs more time to make a decision on whether or not GE salmon is fit for human consumption. i’m live streaming the hearings, but have a pit in my stomach…i can pretty much tell you what i think by looking at the photo above. it’s really freaking me out.
AquaBounty (who owns AquAdvantage … you can tell by all the clever capitalization) says that their “fish” are safe (when safety is based on vitamins, dha, omegas, taste, blah blah blah <- and this is what the FDA is looking at – rather than food allergies, environmental impact on natural populations, etc.). they say that their “fish” is better for the environment because less feed is required to grow the fish. and their claim that their “fish” consume less fossil fuels because the “fish” will be raised in pens near population centers rather than the open sea is a pile of crap as well. according to the washington post:
AquaBounty wants to incubate genetically modified eggs in Prince Edward Island, Canada, then ship them in plastic coolers to Panama. There they would be raised in land-based tanks and eventually processed before being transported to the United States for sale.
they say the growing population needs GE fish to keep up with demand…again, i call b.s. – while i wouldn’t eat farmed salmon, there is no evidence that conventional farmed salmon cannot keep up. and finally that they brag that their “fish” grow to maturity in half the time – this is their one true statement…although looking at that photo, what does maturity even mean? that thing up there is a nightmare!
The fish’s rapid growth will be boosted by the injection of a combination of a growth gene (GH-coding sequences) from the Pacific Chinook salmon and genetic material (the AFP gene) from the ocean pout – a large, eel-like fish – into the fertilized eggs of Atlantic salmon, making the recombined DNA present in cells throughout the body of the fish. The Chinook gene promotes the growth to market size, and the pout gene allows the fish to grow in the winter as well as the summer.
so, basically these “fish” have their growth hormones going 24/7, unlike natural salmon which produces these hormones only some of the time. mmmm, what’s for dinner tonight, mommy?
today the hearings are focusing on whether the “fish” will be labeled. but the FDA hasn’t even approved these frankenfish for consumption. and quite frankly, i don’t even know how much i trust the FDA. their stance thus far is that genetically engineered salmon is essentially the same as atlantic salmon (according to us news and world report). that there is no material difference between a GE salmon and a conventional salmon. say what?!? it’s not just people eating freaky fish, it’s also whether these female frankenfish will become an invasive species with wild atlantic salmon. again, from eatocracy:
AquaBounty Technologies claims the resultant fish are reproductively sterile due to another genetic alteration – triploidy – that eliminates the possibility of interbreeding amongst themselves or with other native breeds, while maintaining protection over intellectual property. The company will only sell female eggs and raise the fish within contained, inland systems. However, despite these assurances, the FDA indicates that up to 5% of the eggs may indeed be fertile, and the company’s claims in this regard are “potentially misleading.”
it’s so hard to listen to these hearings. there’s a guy talking right now that says that consumers are eating GE foods all the time right now and that there are a lot of scare tactics out there, i.e., calling it “frankenfish” and if consumers want GE products to have labels, then the cost must be passed onto those of us who don’t want to eat them because there is no scientific/nutritional difference between the two. say what again?!? i need to pay for a label for something i would never eat because i believe it is not food?
now the ceo of AquaBounty is talking and saying that biotech and environmentalists are on the same side and espouse the same values. that we should put away our fear and distrust cards and take out the discuss card…see how the benefits outweigh the risks…and he admits that he shops at whole foods and buys organic products (the audience chuckles and i notice he doesn’t say he’s ate the frankenfish) and that the audience has already consumed GE products…those papayas from hawaii would be extinct were it not for genetic engineering. yo, ceo! i’ve since switched to only organic soy because of all the GE crap that is in conventional soy (see my boca blog here) – so i beg to differ that we are on the same side…he wants the labeling to be positive, rather than scaring the public…maybe the public should be scared, or at least made aware…
wow. no questions from the FDA panel for this dude? i might have to shut this stream off. i think all this crap is gonna pass. i don’t think there will be labels. this will probably be within 2 years. i think we all will have to spend more and more time to make sure the food we are buying is safe. and it will be up to each of us to determine what “safe” means to us. they are on break now, i don’t know if i have the stomach (literally) to listen when they return…
unlike america, 2/3 of the world already labels GMO food. for me, this is the start of a very slippery slope…up next in the store aisles, enviropig…!