Friday, 12 June 2015

Problems with GMO, AquaBounty Atlantic Salmon

An issue that has been simmering along beside the push to get old-tech, dinosaur fish farms out of the ocean and set up on land, is GMO Atlantic salmon that grow to harvestable size sooner than non-modified fish.

AquaBounty has been growing such fish with pout, chinook and other genes inserted in the fish genome, and working them through the FDA system in the USA. The Canadian connection is that they have been producing these fish in the province of PEI, and rearing them in Panama.

Joyce Nelson has done a well-researched article on the issue. There are several problems with the GMO fish. The FDA seems not to have done thorough work, while the Canadian science shows several problems. The fish grow at greatly inconsistent rates, they are more susceptible to diseases, particularly ISA and contain a chemical leading to increased cancer risk.

The FDA received two million complaints - hard to believe but apparently true - and looks to be doing some real work before reconsidering the issue of bringing these fish to consumer plates - or letting them be put in the ocean.

The Nelson article may be found here:

Another thing to consider is that on-land fish farms can raise fish faster than in the ocean by holding the water temperature the same rather than it fluctuating, and photoperiod can be controlled, which also improves growth rate. The point being, if fish farms move to land, GMO fish would not be necessary, because unmodified fish will grow much quicker, and without the problems in the AquaBounty fish.

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