Genetically Altered Salmon Moves Toward Approval In U.S.

Guess which one is genetically altered... Source: AquaBounty

Guess which one is genetically altered... Source: AquaBounty

What do we have to do to stop this madness? No doubt the U.S. Government will decide that there’s no need to tell people if the salmon we’re served or sold is a genetically-altered Frankenfood. From the New York Times:

The Food and Drug Administration is seriously considering whether to approve the first genetically engineered animal that people would eat — salmon that can grow at twice the normal rate.

The developer of the salmon has been trying to get approval for a decade. But the company now seems to have submitted most or all of the data the F.D.A. needs to analyze whether the salmon are safe to eat, nutritionally equivalent to other salmon and safe for the environment, according to government and biotechnology industry officials. A public meeting to discuss the salmon may be held as early as this fall.

Some consumer and environmental groups are likely to raise objections to approval. Even within the F.D.A., there has been a debate about whether the salmon should be labeled as genetically engineered (genetically engineered crops are not labeled).

The salmon’s approval would help open a path for companies and academic scientists developing other genetically engineered animals, like cattle resistant to mad cow disease or pigs that could supply healthier bacon. Next in line behind the salmon for possible approval would probably be the “enviropig,” developed at a Canadian university, which has less phosphorus pollution in its manure.

The salmon was developed by a company called AquaBounty Technologies and would be raised in fish farms. It is an Atlantic salmon that contains a growth hormone gene from a Chinook salmon as well as a genetic on-switch from the ocean pout, a distant relative of the salmon.

Normally, salmon do not make growth hormone in cold weather. But the pout’s on-switch keeps production of the hormone going year round. The result is salmon that can grow to market size in 16 to 18 months instead of three years, though the company says the modified salmon will not end up any bigger than a conventional fish.

“You don’t get salmon the size of the Hindenburg,” said Ronald L. Stotish, the chief executive of AquaBounty. “You can get to those target weights in a shorter time.”

AquaBounty, which is based in Waltham, Mass., and publicly traded in London, said last week that the F.D.A. had signed off on five of the seven sets of data required to demonstrate that the fish was safe for consumption and for the environment. It said it demonstrated, for instance, that the inserted gene did not change through multiple generations and that the genetic engineering did not harm the animals.

“Perhaps in the next few months, we expect to see a final approval,” Mr. Stotish said…

[continues in the New York Times]

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  • Life goes nowhere.

    Cheap salmon, small stores making no profit and going bankrupt because they can't compete with the larger companies selling more & bigger salmon at a lower price.

    • Cerebralcaustic

      Economics 101.

      • Conniedobbs

        is this offered at the ayn rand school of corporate oligarchy?

        • tonyviner

          I went there. Moved from New Delhi to attend. They just made me answer phones all day and say that my name was Todd.

  • justagirl

    there's something fishy going on with that pic…

  • Cerebralcaustic

    >What do we have to do to stop this madness?

    Did you get a diploma from the Jenny McCarthy Institute for Media Scaremongering?

    -“To date, no adverse health effects attributed to genetic engineering have been documented in the human population.” 2004 report from the National Academy of Sciences: http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=10977#toc

    -The “madness” that the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine determined that GM foods have been eaten by millions if not billions of humans for almost 20 years with no serious, large-scale problems? http://jrsm.rsmjournals.com/cgi/content/full/10

    • E.B. Wolf

      Are you really going to trust a bunch of liberal, academic, socialists?
      Those GM salmon eat freedom!

      • tonyviner

        I should have known that General Motors had something to do with this.

  • Conniedobbs

    is this offered at the ayn rand school of corporate oligarchy?

  • E.B. Wolf

    Are you really going to trust a bunch of liberal, academic, socialists?
    Those GM salmon eat freedom!

  • tonyviner

    On a side note, bears are said to be extremely pleased with the recent development.

  • Lovefist

    “You don’t get salmon the size of the Hindenburg,”

    DAMN, I was really hoping …

  • Lovefist

    “You don’t get salmon the size of the Hindenburg,”

    DAMN, I was really hoping …

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