Today the Food and Drug Administration approved the very first Genetically Modified Salmon for the consumption by humans. This is a approval that the company AquaBounty has been seeking for nearly 20 years. The fish is going to be available for sale to consumers as early as next year.
Genetically Modified foods and the labeling of them has been a hot issue for some time as proponents for both sides of argument have raised rational claims supporting both the banning for consumption and the consumption of GMO food products. Genetically Modified food is also quite a subjective term which includes many types of food Production manipulation.
In terms of the Fish in Question, the modification came from adding genes from other edible fish that have a quicker growth rate than the 'foraging' or 'natural' variety. These fish take a fraction of the time and feed to produce nearly 4 times the amount of protein for consumption.
The safety of the Meat has been a concern for Consumer groups as it has for many other food types including corn and soy. The Food And Drug Administration says there is 'reasonable certainty of no harm to consumers". If you are allergic to salmon or you don't like the way the flesh tastes you are probably not going to see much of a difference and probably won't see a new 'fruity pebbles" flavored salmon hit the markets. But the Question I have is, What about the super growth genes that altered the Salmon DNA? Cancer pathology dictates that it searches and hangs onto organs, inflammation and the like that it can use to propagate rapidly. Cancer loves to expand and expand. This concern has been raised with the corn and soy industry that have modified their products to grow bigger and faster than Nature can even keep up with. Only time will tell, because a product that may look safe today might just have some long term effects which don't fare so well on humans.
Environmentalists are concerned about escape. Interbreeding with native populations can have dramatic impact on the food ecosystem. This worry is 'negligible' according to the company sighting that the fish are grown in tanks and not near the ocean. They also state that the fish are all modified to be sterile (another alarming concern for me). There is also the labeling of the fish when it hits the store shelves. SHould it be labeled GMO? Since the Government is pretty lax about this subject I am guessing the company will skirt this demand until forced.
In a world which has a growing number of mouths to feed a bigger fish with less impact on the environment does sound kind of appealing. In my opinion I am against GMO foods but then again I can afford to buy organic. If this trend is allowing more 'nutritious" food to be consumed by a population that can't afford good nutrition then that might be a tipping point. As most GMO foods show, when you start messing with genes you mess with the value of nutrition as well. Big fish does not necessarily mean big nutrition. And then there is the concern over eating fish that has these super growth genes.... Big fish maybe big cancer.. time will tell.
As we proceed cautiously into the future of food modification the fight is going to be balancing on ones objective rationales and subjective ethics. I applaud science and the goal of feeding people, plain and simple.. we need it. I would rather have science develop a big fish than a Big Mac for sure. If only we could GMO a bigger brain on some people.
8 Min Quality AMRAP
:20 Lsit Hold
20 Double Unders
:20 Super man Hold
20 Push Ups
Hip Complex Mobility
400m Overhead Plate Carry45/25
30 Toes TO Bar
400m Overhead Plate Carry