Monday, September 20, 2010

Genetically Engineered Salmon

FDA advisors to vote on genetically engineered salmon

It grows faster, eats less and has sparked intense debate about modifying animals for our food supply.

By Andrew Zajac, Tribune Washington Bureau
7:28 PM PDT, September 18, 2010

In a step that may move genetically engineered meat and fish closer to the American dinner table, an FDA advisory committee will vote Monday on whether to approve preliminary findings that a modified salmon is as safe as an ordinary salmon.

The vote is not binding on the FDA, but approval would lend powerful support for a final decision by the agency charged with protecting the nation's food and drug supplies. The fish, a North Atlantic salmon developed by AquaBounty Technologies Inc. would be the country's first genetically engineered food animal.

It grows to market size in half the time of other salmon and consumes 25 percent less feed in the process, according to the company, which is based in Waltham, Mass.

The FDA will hold a separate hearing on what, if any, labeling should be required if the fish is approved. The FDA says it does not have the power to mandate labeling that describes how a food was made, only the content variation that results from a different production process.    Read More

This will be an interesting test to watch.  But rather than a strictly scientific and rational discussion, I’m guessing that plenty of misinformation and irrational fear will be used by some.  There’s nothing wrong with being skeptical of new products and processes for growing our food.  The ultimate goal of everyone involved should be to have more and better food but unfortunately that doesn’t always seem to be the case.  I’ll keep you updated on how this turns out. 

1 comment:

Joanmarie said...


I think you will enjoy some of the TED Talks. This one is about how people find happiness. It came to mind when I read your comments on the GMO salmon because Nic starts his talk by stating (I paraphrase) that it is fear that steals most of our happiness. Another Ted speaker, Dan Gilbert, says we are the only species that can play variable futures in our head before they occur, and that affects our happiness. Nic argues that an apopalyctic future is not the only scenario possible, and he thinks it is very unlikely.(Then, he goes on to say he is an environmentalist..)
I also copied your "A Nation of We Can't" from 07/07/08 to my farm blog and linked your site from mine. I will read you in the future> I'm glad I found your site today.