This country’s Jersey Shore obsession must be stopped!! Anyone paying attention the past few months knows that the Situation is getting out of control, and now comes word that soon even our fish will be JUICED! Yes, recently the FDA approved the genetic engineering of salmon for human consumption.
This announcement seems to be gathering a lot of attention here on the interwebs and among some special interest groups, but it has been mainly a blip in the realm of traditional media. Here is a quick recap:
A company has figured out a way to have their salmon produce growth hormones year-round, rather than stop in the colder months as naturally happens. Essentially, they have figured out how to “juice” our fish. (It’s funny because when we found out baseball players were doing this, Congress held a hearing, but with our food, the FDA gave it two thumbs up.) The resulting fish grow much bigger in a shorter period of time, are more aggressive and the majority of them are sterile (you can see why the Jersey Shore reference popped into my head right?)
This news is about more than just salmon.
FDA approval of such a product sets the stage for all forms of modified meat. It’s reasonable to assume that genetically engineered pigs, chicken and cows are n the horizon. The FDA already allows the practice of giving cows hormones to produce beefier animals and research had indeed identified potential health risks from this (minor things like an increased risk of cancer and earlier puberty).
It may seem that I am firmly on one side of the issue, but the whole idea of genetically modified foods, whether they be plant or animal, is such a relatively new process that I am actually not sure where I stand. On the one hand, benefits are obvious: pest resistance, herbicide tolerance, disease resistance, overcoming geographic and resource limitations, sustainability etc… But the negatives are just as strong: unintended harm to other organisms, gene transfer, allergies, effect on human health, economic impact, change in nutrition content.
What do all of you ES readers think about this? Will you eat the franken-fish?