Tuesday, September 14, 2010

GMO Salmon... yup.. that's what we need

Discovery News published a article today about how the FDA is getting ready to approve the sale of genetically modified salmon for consumption.

I don't understand why we keep mucking around with plants and animals with traits that aren't even within the same species/genus.  At least in this case we stuck with another fish. :)    But, do we really need to make fish grow faster?  For what? 

I know I am completely wacko about GMO -- but I don't think anything we have done to date has proven completely beneficial.
  • The corn and soy GMO's created so that they are "Round-up ready" has introduced a new, stronger variant of weeds that are able to withstand Round-up.   
  • In North Dakota, GM canola plants have cross pollinated with wild plants.   see here
  • There are concerns that GMO food can cause/promote food allergies (see here for a list of some of the benefits and concerns from the Human Genome Project).  Either due to allergen genes being placed into a product.  Say peanuts into wheat.  Or, a new allergen being created due to the modification.  Since the US does not require labeling - there is no way to know if a food source is a GMO and/or what has been added.
  • Aside from impacting bio-diversity - we may also be changing the macro environment.  By the cross pollination that is occurring, we cannot say what it is doing to both the wild plant and/or animal life. What are the impacts to wild life such as birds to the new "wild" GM plants found in ND?
  • And do I really trust agri-business to make sure that what they are selling me is real food.  Here is a 2003 article from Seattle PI where they state that "pharmaceutical giant Hoffman-La Roche, which manufactures the dyes, provides salmon manufacturers with swatches of pink hues arranged in a fan formation, much like one would find at a paint store. They call it the "SalmoFan." Dye for the selected shade is then added to the salmon's processed food pellets."  This was done to fool customers into thinking that they were buying wild salmon not farmed. 
In our focus to produce as much food as we can - we have with "traditional" (agri-business) farming produced foods that are less nutrient dense than they were before we mucked around them.  And, still the information isn't out there to the average person that only by eating heirloom / organic are they going to be able to get all the nutrients that should be available in a vegetable or fruit.   What are the implications of a GMO product in the food chain to both us and the planet at large?

If these fish get accidental released into the wild -what will it do to our wild salmon populations?  And, do I really believe that there won't be a accidental release? From this 1997 report ... "Escapes of Farmed Salmon from Pens: Just this year, 300,000 Atlantic salmon were released into Puget Sound when their pens were accidentally ripped open. In Norway, where as many as 1.3 million salmon escape from farms each year, one third of the salmon spawning in coastal rivers are not wild, but escaped salmon. ..."   1/3rd of the salmon spawning in 1997 were not wild! What does that make the numbers now??

Per the Monterey Bay Aquarium... farmed salmon is on the do not buy list because of accidental releases, parasites and diseases being transferred to wild salmon, waste being directly released into the oceans...etc. And yet... we want to add to this by putting GM fish into the mix.

It makes me so angry that we are so short sighted. :(

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