Genetically Engineered Salmon? Let’s Hope It Sinks Before It Swims
You’ve probably seen the headlines and heard the uproar. In November 2015, the FDA approved the first genetically-engineered animal protein for human consumption. Genetically-altered salmon will be rolled out in about two years. This is farm-raised Atlantic Salmon that is genetically-modified with growth genes from Chinook Salmon and Ocean Pout, an eel-shaped sea creature. Legally, this fish can’t be farmed in U.S. waters. That tells you a lot right there.
A Frankenfish will grow three times larger than a normal salmon in the first year of life, using less feed than “normal” farmed salmon. Feed. Not the high-density natural nutrition of wild salmon.
Of Course We Have It On Our Radar
We’re wary, but not worried. In terms of sustainability, farmed fish regularly manages to escape into the wild, even when cultivated on land. A voracious, fast-growing genetically-engineered salmon could destroy wild salmon stock, but that’s a worst-case scenario. We’ve got geography on our side, and the State of Alaska has our back. Alaska manages its fisheries better than any other place on earth, and we believe that state impact studies will give us plenty of time to respond.
What’s the biggest threat? Economics. Frankenfish could flood the world market with cheap, tasteless, low nutrition fish that consumers think is salmon.
“We’re providing people with a pristine, beautiful, wild fish. Personally, I don’t want to put anything that’s genetically-altered in my body. Why would anyone?”
Jim Dybdahl, Second Generation Commercial Fisherman
Genetically-engineered salmon will go to market in stealth mode. The FDA has ruled that Frankenfish will not require mandatory labeling as a genetically-modified food. So you won’t know when you’re buying it or ordering it in a restaurant. More than 60 grocery store chains, including Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Safeway, Costco and Kroger’s, are lining up to say they won’t carry it.
So Here’s A Wild Idea
You don’t have to run the risk of eating genetically-altered salmon or supporting a potentially destructive impact. You can simply stick with wild-caught salmon.
We’re making it a genuine pleasure to speak up with your fork. Starting now.