Posting in Cancer
The fast-growing GM salmon is safe to eat, apparently.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration might give the go ahead to sell genetically modified salmon. Aqua Bounty Technologies' line of genetically engineered Atlantic salmon will grow twice as fast as ordinary salmon.
This would make the salmon the first GM animal to be approved for human consumption.
The Guardian calls this move dangerous.
Aqua Bounty calls it a Blue Revolution, a chance to improve the productivity in aquaculture.
The working product description of AquAdvantage fish is:
A triploid Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) bearing a single copy of the stably integrated α-form of the opAFP-GHc2 gene construct at the α-locus in the EO-1α line, populations of which grow to a mean body weight of 100 g, and exhibit a significantly greater proportion of animals weighing 100 g or more, within 2700 deg-days of first-feeding when fed to satiety in water temperatures characteristic of present-day farming operations, that are produced as eyed-eggs for grow-out of triploid, hemizygous, all-female fish in physically-contained, production facilities.
With the trend going the way of creating more food, will it be possible to eat real food or will it all be made in a lab? Leading scientists previously suggested that growing artificial meat in vats is a good way to increase food production without totally destroying the environment.
If the FDA approves AquAdvantage Salmon, this is how it will be made:
- eyed eggs produced in Prince Edward Island (PEI), Canada
- eye eggs shipped to Panama
- grow fish in the highlands of Panama
- process fish there
- then ship the ready-to-eat fish to the United States
Does that sound appetizing?
The New York Times reports that the GM salmon have elevated levels of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) in them. That's not a good thing, since there's a cancer risk associated with the insulin-like growth hormone. However, the FDA said that even if people consumed a lot of salmon, it would not increase the amount of hormone into their system.
Really? Regardless, as a salmon eater, I will be closely watching to see if this altered fish makes its way from Panama onto my dinner plate soon. That all depends on the FDA's decision this fall.
But scientists don't know what would happen if the GM fish mingle with other natural fish and how the alien species might interact with the environment.
GM plants have already been found in the wild. Even farmed fish have been known to dabble outside of the farm, exposing wild ones to lice and contaminants like antibiotics. The farmed fish even interbreed with the wild ones too, making it harder for them to survive.
Related on SmartPlanet:
- Genetically modified canola found in the wild
- Monsanto: Supreme Court lifts ban on genetically modified seeds
Sep 10, 2010
Forget the health concerns of the common people. They may be high priorty but we need to think about the future. These salmon have the potential to destroy every habitat on earth. If a natural disaster such as a hurricane were to hit the fisheries where theses GM salmon are being raised, they could be released into the wild. Salmon are an extremely hardy animal and since these salmon have been reported to never stop growing they will grow to massive proportions and will eventually out compete the ecosystems native tertiary consumers. This would destroy all the earths ecosystems. For those who are only concerned about the well being of humans they have a stake in this too. With habitats all around the world destroyed, we also will parish. All of this is the results of man's greed. This has happened all over the world before with organisms like the cane toad. However, this GM salmon has a much greater potential then the ones before it. This is all a dramatization but a very possible one since Murphey's Law is always in play it is only a matter of time. Will you wait until the above senario goes into play, or will you speak up and do something about this? This is for certain, Evan Molitor will do everything in with in there power to prevent the worst. I humbly ask that you do the same.
Creating GM organisms is a completely different order of biological tinkering than the selective breeding and cross-breeding methods it seeks to supplant. Breeding is merely a way to sort out desired characteristics from the existing gene pool of related organisms - GM methods often combine genes from organisms which aren't even remotely related. Our knowledge of genetics is much too incomplete at this point to make the claim that we have a "far better understanding of the outcomes" of GM realistic; there may be unintended consequences we won't learn of for many years. Turning the products of this infant technology loose upon the world is incredibly reckless.
It is amazing how many un-informed opinions exist on GM foods. What do people think we eat now? Does everyone suppose that grain just appeared in the form it is in currently. The only difference with so-called non-GM foods and GM foods is the specificity and control of the changes being made. Instead of years of cross-breeding without knowing exactly what genes are present in the off-spring we are now in a position to have direct control of the process and far better understanding of the outcomes. Faster growing fish do not magically mean faster growing diseases... what is the causative agent? Are fish metabolic and growth control mechanisms the same as bacterial or viral? We are talking about completely distinct control mechanisms. Further GM foods are much more controlled, researched and studied than any other food group, increasing the chances that issues will be found sooner. Strangely enough the majority of unfounded fear over GM foods comes from those that already have more than enough to eat... one wonders if thought is given to those who do not have the freedom to make decisions on the back of urban myths.
I try to buy only wild salmon now. I suppose they will approve this and then prohibit labels to inform consumers that they are buying phreak phish.
I'd rather pay more for natural salmon. If these salmon grow at a faster rate, what about the diseases they might carry? Will they grow rapidly, as well? Looks like a Pandora's Box, to me...