Would you eat biotech fish? FDA approves genetically engineered salmon

Wednesday, December 26, 2012 by: Raw Michelle
Tags: GM salmon, FDA, approval

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(NaturalNews) After a few brief tests, GE salmon, meant to grow twice as fast as regular Atlantic salmon, was deemed safe both for the environment and for human consumption. The FDA added that it would take public comments for 60 days before finally deciding on whether or not to approve the salmon.

Criticism of the recent FDA assessment points to the lack of sufficient evidence that the fish is safe for consumption, and the difficulty in measuring its real impact on the environment once mass production begins.

Where does biotech salmon come from?

The controversial fish is developed by AquaBounty Technologies, a small American biotechnology company whose main goal is to find solutions that could increase the productivity of aquaculture. Its most important research consists of developing salmon, trout, and tilapia eggs that produce fast growing specimens. To achieve this, researchers have to modify the very genetic fabric of fish. Their salmon variety has been patented and bears the trade name AquAdvantage Salmon.

The FDA report so far states that "with respect to food safety, FDA has concluded that food from AquAdvantage salmon is as safe as food from conventional Atlantic salmon, and that there is a reasonable certainty of no harm from consumption."

What the critics say

Michael Hansen, a researcher at the Consumers Union, explained that GE fish could cause allergic reactions that the FDA is unable to anticipate. GE fish will also likely not be labeled accordingly, leaving consumers in the dark about where the fish is coming from.

If the FDA does not heed the public outcry, Congress could still prevent the commercialization of GE fish. Wenonah Hauter, director at the Food & Water Watch, urges consumers to contact their congressmen to overturn what has been called "a dangerous experiment" at the expense of consumer health.

Other concerns about GE fish pertain to its ability to outcompete natural Atlantic salmon. If it is released into the wild, the AquAdvantage salmon could adapt to new pray, survive in tough habitats, and reproduce much faster than its natural counterpart.

Andrew Kimbrell of the Center for Food Safety concluded that "the GE salmon has no socially redeeming value. It's bad for the consumer, bad for the salmon industry and bad for the environment."

Healthy, vegan alternatives to GE salmon

Chickpeas have been hailed by vegans everywhere for their ability to mimic fish, making them an excellent addition to faux fish salads. Chickpeas provide considerable amounts of protein, slow release carbohydrates, folate and zinc.

A delicious vegan "salmon" dish can be prepared by mixing grated carrots, mashed chickpeas, white vinegar, tomatoes, finely grated lemon peel, lemon juice, dill, vegetable oil and a pinch of salt. The mixture can either be consumed raw, or divided into patties and baked for about 25 minutes. For added flavor, vegan "salmon" can be topped with vegan mayonnaise or grated horseradish.

When choosing salmon as a means to obtain healthy fats, many may want to consider chia instead. With 724 mg of Omega-3's in 28 grams of salmon, and 4915 mg in 28 grams of chia, chia is a clear winner.

Sources for this article include:

About the author:
Raw Michelle is a natural health blogger and researcher, sharing her passions with others, using the Internet as her medium. She discusses topics in a straight forward way in hopes to help people from all walks of life achieve optimal health and well-being. She has authored and published hundreds of articles on topics such as the raw food diet and green living in general. >>> Click here to see more by Michelle

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