Roid Rage


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?


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  • Vivian October 20, 2010  

    I would have to say, pretty firmly, no. The way I see it, there are immediate benefits, yes, but I believe they only appear to be so. What they don’t tell you is that you can’t predict what sort of effect it will have on health or the environment 50 years down the road. Unless you do extensive research, which requires more time than they want to spend the money for, you don’t know what consequences will occur. And I would have to say based on the effects of “juiced up” beef, pork, and chicken, simply through the use of antibiotics and engineered feed, I think genetically modified animals will the take the whole system one step further down an already slippery slope.

  • JR Moreau October 20, 2010  

    I avoid this stuff when I can. You’ll know the juiced fish industry is hopping when you start seeing Salmon for sale at super-Walmarts and such right next to the 30 lb box of CoCo Crispies.

  • naomi October 20, 2010  

    I’ll take a big pass on the Franken-fish and anything Franken-fied for that matter. I’m sure it has its benefits but so did DDT.

  • Paula October 21, 2010  

    looks so delicious!

    have a nice time!

  • Denise Michaels October 21, 2010  

    So this means when I buy salmon (love the stuff – especially Cajun-style) I need to look for packages that say “hormone and anti-biotic free” just as I do for chicken. I’m sure they’ll be out there as the public catches on.

    I don’t think all businesses want to mess with their food and add this crap – just the really big ones.

    Geez, I’ve been banging the gong for a few years that food companies and the FDA don’t care about our nutrition or health. These companies care just about quarterly profits. They want to do that? Whatever. But not on my watch. I’ll figure out the stores that steer clear of that stuff and shop there.

    Oh, and “The Situation” was voted off “Dancing with the Stars” last week.

  • Nancy@acommunaltable October 21, 2010  

    Ok… guess I get the be the lone voice of dissension.
    I have no problem with GM salmon or GM crops in general.
    Virtually EVERY food we consume today has been genetically modified. For thousands of years man has cross bred crops and lifestock to improve yield, flavor and/or pest resistance – that is genetic modification!!! The primary difference between what we have done for thousands of years and what we are doing today is that today we can be significantly more precise about what traits are expressed by modification and which ones are not. Are there risks? Of course – but can anyone name even one human endeavor that doesn’t present risk? This concept of “zero tolerance” to risk is at best short sighted and at worst disastrous for the human race.
    As to the “claims” that hormone treatment of beef cattle causes cancer and a younger onset of puberty is not supported by any credible scientific study – correlation is NOT causation and far too many scientists depend upon the public’s ignorance of this concept to push their own particular agenda. The tragedy of course is that the public is now very distrustful of science in general which does not bode well for our future.

  • erica October 21, 2010  

    if you learn how GMO foods work, it is NOT anything like a natural genetic product. as of a few years ago (i don’t know about current, but i can’t imagine it’s changed) the FDA didn’t require ANY testing of GMO products, simply a letter from the maker stating they guarantee the product is safe for human consumption. GMO foods are the single biggest science experiment in the history of the planet and Americans are the guinea pigs.

    GMO foods are partly responsible for the rise in asthma, allergies, and many other health problems. the gov’t does not require GMO foods to be labeled as GMO. Monsanto’s seeds fly off trucks, land in farmers’ fields, and Monsanto then sues the farmer and the courts give Monsanto everything, including the patents to the farmers’ own carefully hybridized seeds which may have been in the family for generations. when their Terminator seeds (which yield only sterile product) start crossing with nature on a large scale the landscape of this county will be permanently changed for the worse.

    it is not zero tolerance of risk, but our own well being we should be concerned about. science does wonderful things for us, but also brought us the atomic bomb, chemical warfare… the list goes on. Perhaps we should learn more about things before we embrace them.

  • Borracho October 22, 2010  

    Loving the comments so far. I am actually surprised that the majority has fallen so firmly on just one side. Please feel free to add from either side of the “argument”.

    While I agree that significant research as to causation vs. correlation with various hormone therapies has not been conducted, I do find it somewhat disconcerting that the FDA approval process for this specific issue was significantly less intense than the testing for other products like pharmaceuticals. Also because nothing else was in place, the review was conducted by the department that typically oversees animal medications

    With pharmaceuticals, rigorous testing and extensive product labeling are meant to give consumers as much information as possible. With any form of genetically modified food, if there is a possibility of risk, should they not be as well informed? Or does that avenue bring us to an even bigger question of our personal responsibility of knowing what we take into our bodies?

  • Borracho November 8, 2010  

    I think it is worth listening to this very serious newscast about GM broccoli:,18415/

  • Pingback: Feed Us Back: franken-fish and pumpkin recipes January 9, 2011  

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