The concept of GMO in food was met with a lot of criticism and there is an ongoing debate on whether these food produce should be deregulated or not. But when genetic engineering of animals was introduced, that is when most people finally took their stand and made their opposition on genetic engineering known.
One of the most widely talked about form of animal genetic engineering is GE salmon. The idea of a genetically engineered salmon might seem alien to most people but it is one of the fastest growing applications of genetic technology today. The idea here is to tinker with the genetic composition of the salmon to make them grow faster. The objective behind genetic engineering in animals, particularly with salmon, is the need to keep up with the growing food demand and it is possible only with the speedy maturation of such food sources.
What are the main features of a genetically engineered salmon that differentiates it from normal salmon? Some of them are listed below:
1. A GMO salmon takes only about half the amount of time for a normal salmon to mature.
2. It makes it possible to grow and produce a large amount of salmon that is not only concentrated in one specific area in the wild, but also in a wider range of habitat.
3. it makes it easier to control the growth and spread of salmon instead of relying solely on the natural maturity rates of these fishes.
Something Smells Fishy – The Truth Behind The GMO Salmon
The genetic scientists who have developed and introduced the idea of GMO salmon have stated their objectives for introducing this kind of technology. However, there is far more controversies surrounding this than what most people know about. Recent information was revealed that the US FDA withheld information about the approval of genetically modified salmon in the market. This contained reports submitted by the US Fish and Wildlife Services, which seemed to suggest the danger posed by GMO salmon to the endangered species of Atlantic salmon, particularly if the former manages to infiltrate natural habitat.
Indeed, there are several factors that would prevent the US FDA from approving this kind of genetic engineering of animals due to the danger it poses to marine environment. More studies are currently being conducted on whether a GE salmon will definitely offer the benefits stated above and what other impacts it can create in the population of normal salmon.
Why The Government Should Ban The Genetic Engineering of Animals
There are a lot of reasons why GMO animals must not only be regulated, but totally banned. These reasons speak not only for GE salmon, but other animals that are being considered for genetic engineering:
• Animals have their own legitimate interests and cannot be utilized as “tools” for the benefit of mankind, regardless of the intention or purpose.
• There should be a nuanced and balanced approach that is taken to ensure that animals are not placed in danger by engaging in genetic engineering.
• There is no substantial evidence that would suggest the perceived benefits are to be actually experienced. More focus should be directed towards improving the technology first.