Americans Will Eat Genetically Modified Salmons
The United States Food and Drug Administration will have to study the genetically engineered salmon eggs to see if the consumption of the full grown fish coming out from them is safe for the people that are going to eat it. The Aqua Bounty Technologies says that the eggs include a growth hormone gene derived from the Chinook salmon that enables the fish to grow quickly. If the eggs are approved it will be the first time that the Food and Drug Administration allows a transgenic animal to be used for making food on the territory of the United States. The company says that besides from this additional gene that causes the fish to grow faster than usual, the salmon is identical to Atlantic salmon. The company released a declaration on the website saying that the salmon’s capacity to grow faster does not interfere with the nutritional or biological structure of the fish.
The documents issued by the FDA’s Veterinary Medicine Advisory Committee say that the reviewers found an adequate amount of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the salmon meat, and none of the substances found in the salmon meat are believed to be causing more allergy than the Atlantic salmon. But more than 30 organizations expressed concerns related to these fish and the effect they might have on human health, and have asked FDA to not approve the eggs. Jaydee Hanson, a policy analyst at the Center for Food Safety, a non-profit organization with offices in Washington, D.C. and San Francisco expressed her doubts regarding their safety, and said also that the studies performed showed that transgenic fish are also more susceptible to disease. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine is also against the approval of the eggs, saying that the effects of genetically engineered foods might consist in accelerated aging, infertility or immune system dysfunctions. Hanson does not believe that the company has provided sufficient safety data so that the FDA should approve the genetically engineered eggs, but FDA believes that the company’s evidence and methods are acceptable.
The 30 organizations that expressed concerns related to these fish believe that these salmons are not only a threat to the humans that are going to eat them but to the ecosystem, too, because they are threatening the wild salmon population. This happens when the farmed salmons manage to escape from open-water net pens and mix with the wild fish, eating their food and crowding waters.11