FDA OKs Genetically Modified Salmon for Human Consumption
By Jai Colvin
Local fishermen are up in arms over an announcement this month that the Food and Drug Administration has approved genetically modified salmon. This is the first such altered animal for human consumption in the United States, and there are many out there who are seeing a red flag.
Genetically Modified Salmon is The First Modified Living Animal Approved
While GMO in corn and other agricultural products has long been debate,d the concept of genetically modified living animals goes further than most people want to. The Obama administration has stalled approval of the fast-growing salmon for more than five years amid consumer concerns about eating genetically modified foods. But the agency is already announcing that the fish is safe to eat. Local fisherman Ted Morrow is disgusted. “I don’t understand why they have to mess with the natural order of things,” Morrow says. “Who knows what we are going to find that all this genetically changed stuff is going to do to us.”
By altering genetic materials, scientists believe they can breed animals to be disease-free, friendlier to their environment and that can grow more efficiently. Many people who are opposed to this type of science, however, say that messing with the “natural order” could also affect the basic species. “What happens if the genetically changed ones breed with the regular salmon? What happens then,” Morrow asks.
Opponents of the technology have taken advantage of increasing consumer concern about genetically modified foods and have urged several major retailers not to sell it, and while some retailers have pledged not to sell the salmon, which has an added gene from the Pacific Chinook salmon that enables the fish to produce more growth hormone and grow faster, others will do so. At this point it’s important to note that there is no evidence that the foods would be unsafe, but who knows what the future will hold. For some, like Morrow, it is an ethical issue as well as a health concern. “What’s next,” Morrow asks, “Humans?” Read the FDA announcement. Also read the complete article in the New York Times
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