If you haven’t heard the news, GMO salmon was FDA approved in November of last year, but it hasn’t yet hit stores in the US. It is produced by a company named AquaBounty, and if you want to keep genetically modified salmon, aka Frankenfish, from coming to a grocery store near you, there are easy ways to help keep this fish from being sold in the US. First, let’s take a look at some GMO salmon facts so you can get caught up if you haven’t yet heard of what they are all about.
What is GMO Salmon and How are GMO Salmon Made?
Here is a quick, simple overview of what GMO salmon is all about: A company called AquaBounty decided to take a healthy, wild salmon and introduce new DNA into them to make them grow faster. Typical wild salmon take about two to three years to reach adulthood. The new DNA they introduced into the fish encourages the salmon to grow faster and reach adulthood in just 18 months or so.
Why is GMO Salmon Bad? 3 Reasons
1. GMO Salmon Could Damage the Delicate Ocean Ecosystem and Even Lead to Extinction of Wild Salmon
One huge reason genetically engineered salmon are bad is due to the potential detrimental effects they could have on the whole ocean ecosystem. That is why environmental agencies are suing the FDA as we speak due to the fact that the FDA never even consulted anyone about how this fish would affect the environment!
While the fish are not currently bred in oceans, but instead in their own little special bodies of water created for them, mistakes happen (and humans are prone to making mistakes). If the GMO salmon entered the ocean, they could breed with wild salmon and/or eat of all the wild salmons’ food. This could lead to wild salmon becoming extinct and create many more problems within the ocean.
2. GMO Salmon Hitting the Supermarkets Would Encourage the Creation of More GMO Animals
It is important to realize that this is the first FDA approved GMO animal. That means that if this fish enters the market, it opens the floodgates for companies to begin trying to modify more and more animals. That would lead to even more potential environmental disasters and even more difficulty avoiding GMO food consumption among people who choose to avoid them.
3. Potential GMO Salmon Health Hazards
Are there proven health hazards of GMO salmon? Not yet, but they have also not been proven to be safe for long-term human consumption. The public has already acted as “guinea pigs” for GMO crops, and no one wants to be the subject of an “experiment” as to whether GMO salmon could have long-term hazardous health consequence when eaten.
What Can You Do to Keep GMO Salmon out of Your Supermarkets?
You don’t have to take time away from your already busy life to stand around with picket signs in protest to prevent GMO salmon from being sold in your country. First, it is important to spread the word that this salmon is out there, so you can help others become informed about GMO salmon and how they are detrimental to society in many ways.
Then, simply email your local supermarkets (email the company headquarters if it is a large chain) and let them know that you will no longer be a customer of theirs if they choose to sell this fish (if introduced to the market).
You can also email your state legislators to voice your concerns. Vermont voters were recently able to pass a state bill requiring all GMO products to be labeled in the state, and this has led to many companies deciding to label GMOs on all products sold in the country (is is just easier for them to do that then to label products sold in one state differently). So even if you live in a small state, realize that your voice can have a huge impact on the state which can lead to impact on the entire country.