Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Frankenfish: Yeah, I don't know about this...

Have you all heard about the genetically modified fish being considered for public consumption?

The fish is designed to grow at twice the rate or a normal salmon (up to five times, by some reports), reaching the market in a year and a half instead of three years. While an atlantic salmon normally produces its growth hormone only seasonally, the genetically altered fish will produce the hormone all year long, the mechanism which makes it grow faster.

Controversy around the acceptance of this fish is deep. 11 senators, mostly from coastal states, have come together to urge the FDA to reject the altered fish. They say the agency is using the wrong process for evaluation and that they are deliberately leaving the public out of the discussion.

Even the traditional fishing industry is against the AquaBounty fish hitting the shelves and, if it is approved, they've called for the fish to be labeled as genetically modified. It's little surprise the fishing industry would want the fish either off the table or labeled. In an interview with Underground Wellness, Jeffrey Smith, author of Seeds of Deception, has speculated on the very real possibility that FDA's approval of the GM salmon could mean the death of the salmon industry. The FDA has already stated that it will not allow labeling of the GM salmon to distinguish it from conventional salmon. Considering the fact that more and more people are rejecting the idea of consuming genetically modified foods, people may stop eating salmon altogether in order to avoid exposure.

Already genetically modified corn has bred its way into conventional corn (and the courts even ruled against a farmer whose crop was infected by the GM genes and said that Monsanto had the right to sue him, even though he never wanted GM genes in his corn fields). What if Frankenfish gets out and breeds with the native population? What are the potential health impacts of exposing human beings and other fish eating animals to fish with genetically altered hormones? This is a dangerous precedent and even if it were approved no labeling requirements would be made to distinguish this fish from native species. This definitely smells fishy!

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