Presently, the Food and Drug Authority (FDA) is reviewing whether to allow GMO Salmon to be grown and sold to consumers. Genetically modified salmon – which, if the FDA approves it, will be the first genetically engineered animal that people would eat – grow at twice the normal rate.
While the GE salmon is being heralded as a way to help ease the burden on the aquatic resources, there are three things that are bothering people regarding the genetically modified fish.
1). Since the GMO salmon is going to grow faster than the other fish, there is a risk that the genetically modified fish is going to out compete the other fish for food.
2). The bigger GMO salmon might also out-compete, the normal salmon for possible mates.
3). The third problem is that the GMO salmon, which would most likely consume twice as much food and be twice as big than the normal salmon, will push the non-GMO salmon out of food and shelter.
With these concerns being aired by those who oppose genetic engineering in animals, AquaBounty Technologies, those responsible for the GMO salmon, said that all of their GMO salmon would be raised in inland tanks and contained breeding facilities, to eliminate the risk of these salmon escaping into the wild. That assurance, however, isn’t putting everyone at ease.
Genetically Engineered Salmon Creates Panic Among Sea Food Eaters
As the FDA appears to getting closer and closer to give the AquaBounty salmon the go signal, people who only eat non-GMO seafood are getting more and more concerned. If the government allows the genetically engineered salmon to be sold and eaten, then what’s stopping other genetically modified animals from showing up next on the dinner table?
The problem is also compounded since the government doesn’t require the labeling of GMO foods. How then will these sea food lovers know in the future if, for example, tuna they are buying indeed came from the normal and unmodified tuna, or if they came from GMO tuna?
But all hope is not lost for those who want to protect their dinner table from the genetically modified food since the local government can still help them.
With the FDA not requiring genetically modified food to be labeled (which might also include the GMO salmon, if it is ever approved in the near future), the local states can require the labeling on their own. Sacramento’s California Assembly Health Committee, for example, has approved AB 88, a bill that requires all genetically modified salmon sold in California to have the proper label.
Are There Long-Term Dangers From Genetic Engineering in Animals?
As with anything that isn’t natural, there is always an ill-effect -- both short-term and long-term. The same is true, no doubt, with genetic engineering in animals. There might be ill-effects on the health of the animal, on the health of those who eat the animal or use the products that come from the animal, and on the environment. Care should be given then when dealing with genetic engineering in animals and with GMOs as well.