Restaurant News

Genetically Modified Salmon aka Frankenfish -- Let Your Voice be Heard Tomorrow

Get your speed-dial ready, folks.Tomorrow, September 16th is a National Day of Action in Washington, D.C. sponsored by Food and Water Watch. You can add your voice to those opposed to allowing this fish into our food supply. Otherwise, call Marge Simpson, and ask if she will share her recipe for three-eyed fish!
Mark Begich, US Senator from Alaska, calls Aquabounty Technologies' genetically modified salmon "Frankenfish".
But the President and CEO of Aquabounty, Ronald L Stotish, says, "It looks like an Atlantic salmon. It tastes like an Atlantic salmon," adding, "characteristically it behaves like an Atlantic salmon". With one character difference, this salmon has been genetically engineered, and is poised to be the first genetically engineered fish to enter our food supply. 
Something's fishy here, folks.
Learn more after the jump.

On Sunday, September 19th, The Veterinary Medicine Advisory Committee of the Food and Drug Administration will evaluate the data provided by Aquabounty and weigh in on The Food and Drug Administration approval for Transgenic salmon. You read correctly, the team of scientists evaluating fish for human consumption are veterinarians. The panel is charged with evaluating the health of the "animals'" food safety, environmental impact, and claims of the rate of growth of the fish made by Aquabounty. Sure hope they invited the scientists representing the environment, food safety and nutrition.

Aquabounty has classified much of the scientific data as a trade secret, limiting public knowledge and access of data. The FDA has not conducted independent tests on the GE (genetically engineered) salmon, other than to test for nutritional value. In fact, none of our national food agencies have the means to evaluate the introduction of Transgenic salmon to our food supply in terms of human health or the environment. 

The Transgenic salmon was produced by injecting a growth hormone gene from a Pacific salmon with the DNA of an eelpout into Atlantic salmon eggs. The result is a fish that grows to double the size in half the time. Aquabounty will only be involved in selling the eggs to fish farms. Salmon farms already have a bad rep: overcrowding, fecal contamination, chemical contamination,  and diseased populations. In Alaska and Canada, escaped fish from large commercial farms have been found in the wild and are considered invasive species. 
Best yet, no current law exists that requires labels on genetically modified food. So just like the corn and soy crops that come from GMO (genetically modified organism) seeds, you will have no way of knowing if Atlantic salmon is a GE (genetically engineered) salmon. More disturbing, the Transgenic salmon is being reviewed as a new animal drug.
Hello! We are talking about a hybrid created in a laboratory, not a new "drug." What a fish story.