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Understand Why Genetically Engineered Salmon is Scary

As if genetically modified plants aren’t frightening enough, we have to be concerned about genetically modified animals.

AquaBounty, the creator of the genetically engineered salmon, must get approval from the FDA if they wish to bring it to market, which would be the first ever genetically engineered organism available for human consumption.

The scary part is that the FDA looks like they may grant it…

What’s so bad about the genetically engineered salmon?

To understand this, you need to understand how the genetically engineered salmon is made…yes, made. This is why it is dubbed Frankenfish.

OK…so how is Frankenfish made?

If fish grow faster, they make companies more money by reducing overhead costs, so in order make the genetically engineered fish grow faster, growth genes are inserted into its DNA. This makes the fish grow twice as fast!

The genetically engineered fish’s DNA has also been modified with anti-freeze genes, so that unlike proper salmon, which die when they are exposed to ice, Frankenfish will not.

Now we can understand why this is bad news…

If these ginormous freeze-resistant fish ever got into the wild, they would surely obliterate their non-genetically engineered cousins. Being twice the size and able to survive freezing conditions is quite the competitive advantage!

FDA is preparing to announce its approval of genetically engineered salmon soon.Β  Even worse, this fish may not even be labelled as genetically engineering or genetically modified.

All hope is not completely lost though:

Please write your members of Congress today and urge them to protect the environment, fishers, and consumers by co-sponsoring the anti-frankenfish bills!

Source: Friends of the Earth

Photo credit: Flickr Creative Commons by mjanicki

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