If you're a big fan of fish, you might be surprised the genetically engineered salmon is now available in most markets and grocery stores, even the internet. You can find out more about the effects and how the process came about to decide if you should continue consumption. GMOs or genetically modified organisms have been the subject of criticism among several bodies all over the world. Here are some guidelines about the fish you eat.
Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich, senators from Alaska announced the legislation, banning genetically altered salmon. The cocktail species was specifically developed and created by Aquabounty, a biotechnology corporation that also garnered the name "Frankenfish", since the organism includes genes from 3 various fishes. Once the GMO is approved, the species will become the very first genetically modified animal available for human consumption. The salmon has been publicly denounced by 11 senators from the Pacific Northwest area via a protest letter.
Why You Shouldn't Eat GMO Salmon
- Freshwater sources of the salmon can become damaged or polluted.
- Wild Atlantic salmon are already an endangered species.
- Monopoly can be made by the governing company, thereby getting the exclusive rights to breed and sell the fish for their own benefit (see Monsanto).
- The new salmon can lead to future problems from wild salmon fishermen.
Genetically changed salmon, once approved can be grown in containers and tanks in a facility. These animals will not be capable of escaping in those circumstances, although the problem lies with accidents that might cause even a single fish to enter into farming places, then breed with non-GMO salmon, leading to genetic anomalies. As of the moment, science still does not have a clue about the results or what kind of fish might come out from interbreeding these two different types.
All types of wild Atlantic salmon are already known to be endangered species, so any kind of threat to their survival, including genetic mixing or unintentional breeding with the changed species can spell disaster to the entire race. Jeff Hutchings, a fish biologist says that it is hard to make very accurate predictions on what could occur should interbreeding happen. The only certain thing is that the results might lead to negative effects or even wipe out the fish to extinction.
About the Monopoly
Once the genetically altered salmon enters the market, these can be patented exclusively by the company making them. They will be the only body that can create and sell the fish to farmers. Farmed fish cannot breed independently, so the patent will prevent fish farmers from making their daily living and the company controlling everything can indicate the price for consumers, without any competition.
Effects on Fishermen
Wild salmon fishermen who live on catching the natural species will have to compete with fast-growing frankenfish. Frankenfish can grow in only 18 months, compared to the 3 years of natural salmon.