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Mmm, Frankensalmon! Is it what’s next for dinner?

By Lisa Gosselin, September 24, 2010 - 12:09pm

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Lisa asks: Would you eat genetically engineered salmon?


I would eat genetically engineered food as any other. The reality, of course, is that virtually all of our food has had genetic engineering - its been called selective breeding. Moving genes directly has only made the process easier.

Your two concerns regarding the genetically engineering salmon are less than you might think:
1) the comparison with the concerns over the sugar beets - no, the beets themselves don't go anywhere; the concern is due to cross pollination; it's the pollen that travels on the wind. This has been a problem voiced by seed-growing companies for decades, not just about sugar beets, but about lots of different plants. In my opinion the concern, however, shouldn't be any greater for deliberately modified genes than for modifications caused by stray cosmic rays.

2) Yes, these new fish eat smaller fish. So, also, do the wild or farmed salmon. If these new varieties do in fact use food more efficiently, then there will be less herring or sardines required per pound of salmon produced, thus reducing the decimation of the herring/sardine population. You are right, though, that it more sense to eat things lower on the food chain - less impact on the environment, and healthier because lots of contaminents accumulate and concentrate as you move up the food chain. But that means you don't eat salmon, and I do like salmon now and then.


09/27/2010 - 1:15pm

I would not knowingly eat genetically engineered anything. Studies have shown that genetically engineered soy is more highly allergenic than regular soy. Genetic engineering introduces features that might not be in the normal human diet and may be dangerous to our health. For instance, pest resistant varieties of grains may also be people resistant because they may contain poisons to fend off the pests.


09/27/2010 - 12:46pm

As a farmer who is struggling to find non-gmo grains and other foods I think that some techie companies need to be reined in. There is too much that we don't know about how these foods will affect the current population of animal, plants and man. I have issues now with the gmo grains and rising fertility problems in my dairy herd, I hear it all the time that it isn't the grains causing it, yet I didn't have this problem 10 years ago when the amount of gmo grains were few and far between. Would I eat the frankensalmon? NO a resounding NO... because to me, no one has done enough research to find out what would happen if they escaped or like you said in the article about the harvesting smaller fish just to feed the larger ones. Maybe these people should be doing more to prevent the current diseases in the factory farmed fish instead of trying to circumvent Mother Nature....


09/27/2010 - 11:46am

Yes, If there wasn't any wild caught Alaska salmon available. We've been able to get good wild caught salmon at a reasonable price at the stores in our area. I'm not afraid of eating the GM fish but it's what may happen in the environment that can be troubling.


09/26/2010 - 8:35pm

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