GMO salmon nearing FDA approval
Posted 26 June 2010 - 02:15 PM
The new fish is based on the Atlantic salmon. It receives some genetic material from the much larger Pacific Chinook salmon, and an off-on switch from another cold water relative. The switch is important, because it allows the salmon to continue growing during the cold weather months. For that reason, the Atlantic salmon reaches market weight more quickly. Although the current plan is to grow fish that "make weight" more quickly, it's possible that growers may prefer to allow the fish to grow to much larger size, creating thicker filets and steaks, more meat to size, etc. The illustration used in the NYT shows a typical salmon, and a jumbo fish
Some observers are concerned that the new fish could escape into the oceans, and out-compete native fish. Others express concern that the studies are to of sufficient length to observe subtle genetic changes. However, environmentalists see this as a way to reduce stress on native deep water fisheries.
Under current US law, there's no obligation to label these farm raised fish as GMO.
“It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage than a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old institution and merely lukewarm defenders in those who gain by the new ones. ”