Genetically modified organism (GMO) proponents constantly proclaim that GMOs will help feed the hungry and solve world hunger. This is one supposed benefit of genetically modified (GM) salmon as well. But a recent report out of Europe, GE Salmon Will Not Feed the World, says otherwise.
Food & Water Watch reports:
GE* Salmon Will Not Feed the World outlines several reasons why this transgenic fish is likely to be more expensive to produce than perceived, as well as problematic for the environment, fishing communities and consumers. The report was released a day after Scottish MP Rob Gibson motioned to petition the Scottish Government to monitor the FDA’s approval process, noting that escapees are likely to occur through time and could easily reach the shores of Scotland, “altering forever the genetic integrity of wild Atlantic salmon and of quality Scottish farmed salmon.”
Requiring large amounts of food and oxygen and having higher likelihoods of deformity actually make GM salmon quite costly to produce. Combine this with the fact that GM salmon contain about 35% fewer omega-3 fatty acids, more contaminants (i.e. 10 times more PCBs as well as much higher levels of other contaminants that increase the risk of cancer), and bring with them numerous environmental concerns, and any supposed gains are quickly lost.
The only people who would profit from this “Frankenfish” would be the company playing with nature and “creating” it.
“The company producing this experimental fish, AquaBounty, is the only one who will be profiting from it, despite misleading claims that this product could be a means to feed growing populations around the world,” said Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food & Water Europe.
No surprise that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) isn’t bringing these concerns up, since it even tried to hide the fact that GM salmon threaten wild salmon.
Will the U.S. pay any heed to these warnings and corrections from Europe? I think not, but if we spread the word about this issue more, I think we can make a difference.
*Note that they use the term genetically engineered or GE in Europe instead of genetically modified or GM.
Photo Credit: Amanda Rudkin via flickr (CC license)