FDA Approves GMO Salmon
Yesterday, the Food and Drug Administration approved AquaBounty’s genetically engineered salmon. I think this decision is an all time low, especially for our food system in America. What concerns me is the safety of this genetically-modified fish for human consumption, despite what the FDA has decided. In a New York Times report, “The FDA said that to approve the Salmon, it determined that the fish was safe to eat, that the inserted genetic elements did not harm the fish itself, and that the company had adequately proved that the salmon grew faster.”
What I have a problem with is the lack of evidence to the public that the salmon is really safe to ingest. Consumers just have to believe what the FDA reports is right. Of course, Aquabounty can showcase to the nation a larger salmon, that’s easy to prove, but how the GMO Frankenfish is going to affect our overall health and well-being, in the long run, is another issue. Although this fish product won’t be on the market for a while, I have plenty of questions to be answered, as I am a big time salmon consumer that loves and enjoys every single bite of what is supposed to be a healthy choice to reap my share of fatty acids.
I strongly believe the public should be highly informed, especially since the goal is to push this GMO fish to market, which means not only will the salmon be found in supermarkets across the country, but on dinner tables as well. The search for wild-caught salmon in restaurants is a challenging situation. Last month, I was in the midst of deciding where to dine for my birthday. I contacted numerous restaurants searching for wild-caught salmon, even very high-end restaurants that pride themselves on serving high-quality entrées. I got the impression that since so many restaurants are serving farmed-raised fish, that farmed-raised fish has become, and possibility has been, the new standard for quite some time in the restaurant industry. Supply and demand are always the keywords in business when it comes down to determining price points for almost anything that is, or will be on the market at some point. I’m sure there are some companies that are just searching for the best bargain on the market, and sustainability goes right out the door.
I would also like to know all of the possible strategies to avoid AquaBounty’s Frankenfish from entering into our oceans. What we don’t need is for our wild-caught supply to start breeding with an Atlantic salmon that contains artificially-inserted growth hormone genes to get into our waterways. Our oceans are absolutely too precious to start contaminating the one supply we can count on for fish that is completely unaltered. What I strongly disagree with 100% is the FDA decision to not require mandatory labeling of the GMO fish, so consumers can make an informed decision whether to purchase the newly GMO Atlantic salmon or not that will present itself in seafood departments as the normal conventionally raised fish, as if nothing is dramatically different about this particular GMO fish product.
According to the blog The Salt by NPR, Friends of the Earth, a non-governmental environment organization, reported that more than 60 retailers have declined to sell AquaBounty’s fish, and I don’t blame them at all if retailers want to keep a good reputation with consumers. Sustainability is vital in the food community, and competition for stocking the best quality food is fierce.
Tweet me your thoughts on AquaBounty’s GMO fish Frankenfish @theorganicboi or leave your comments below.