The first genetically modified animal has been cleared for consumption and is to be hatched salmon hatchery in Indiana.
The gene-altered fish has been approved by the U.S. FDA and was bred by AquaBounty Technologies, a Massachusetts-based biotechnology company.
AquaBounty altered the genetic makeup of the Atlantic Salmon to include a gene from Chinook salmon and the DNA sequence from an eel-like species know as an ocean pout, resulting in a salmon that grows to market size about twice as fast as its natural counterpart. [source]
The company received their first batch of bio-engineered eggs just last week at its indoor facility in Albany, and hope to have genetically engineered salmon on your dinner plates by the end of 2020.
AquaBounty purchased the complex about 10 miles northeast of Muncie where yellow perch and steelhead trout had previously been raised and renovated it for Atlantic salmon. Before Wednesday’s shipment, the 16-person staff, which includes factory workers who were laid off in recent years, had been overseeing 100,000 conventional Atlantic salmon from eggs until they reach market size. With around 150,000 bioengineered eggs currently inside the facility’s incubator trays, production is expected to grow. [source]
This alteration of the natural world has been justified using the fear of mass starvation across the World due to overpopulation and climate change. In reality, it’s about placing patents on what was once the natural World. Just as Monsanto sew farmers for accidentally growing their strains which contaminated their lands from neighbouring fields containing their GM crops, in time these patentable forms of life will contaminate the natural World and their DNA will taint all Salmon on earth. This fact is inevitable.
Megan Westgate, executive director of The Non-GMO Project, a Washington state-based nonprofit said in an interview:
“This is purely a commercial decision to make the fish grow faster, they’ve succeeded in proving that desired trait. But there’s no benefit to the consumer or the environment. I think that’s why a lot of average people would rather eat salmon as nature intended.”
Aquabounty and the FDA claim strongly refute claims of the negative health effects associated with Genetically Modified Foods and any previously performed study which indicates GM foods may have damaging health effects have been heavily criticised by the mainstream scientific community. Or should we say the scientific community who want to keep their nice cosy jobs.
The potential health effects of eating Genetically modified foods should be a concern to everyone regardless of their denial however, there have been no long term studies on the effects these products have on our bodies and to assume they are safe because the Manufacturers and the FDA say so is simply suicidal.
The biggest problem though in my opinion is the potential long term damage this will have on the eco-system. As we begin to modify and alter more and more life on Earth, we will certainly make grave errors along the way, subjects which should be quarantined or destroyed will eventually be released into the wilds. In time all life will be tainted with our largely blind modifications.
Yes, we know they have made a Salmon grow faster and bigger by Genetic modification – what we don’t know is what happens if these fish accidentally end up in the Wild. It seems to me we have irresponsible and greedy people, doing irresponsible and dangerous things and people seem to accept it because of empty threats based on factless theories.
Further Reading: Chicago Tribune