It’s no secret that as Americans, we play with our food… genetically, that is. The monster-sized salmon bred by AquAdvantage is apparently okay for us to eat, but there are other factors to consider before an engineered fish can be sold in the supermarket, namely the environment.
Environmentalists are worried the super-sized salmon will out-eat salmon in the wild, leaving nature’s bounty largely depleted. They’re also concerned about the modified fish interbreeding with wild salmon. But the FDA has given its approval, citing AquAdvantage’s promises that the salmon will be kept in land-based farming tanks and will all be sterile (actually, 95 percent of them will be sterile, leaving a sizable margin of error).
The FDA’s study on the health drawbacks of the modified fish isn’t exactly iron-clad either. Consumer Reports says there’s still a good chance the salmon could set off allergic reactions: The FDA only studied six fish (that’s SIX, not sixty, six hundred or six thousand), and reported that the fish presents higher possibility of inducing allergies. On top of all this, it’s likely the FDA won’t require the genetically engineered-salmon to be labeled differently, presenting shoppers with a seafood Russian roulette.
At this point, eight hours in my grandfather’s old ice fishing tent seems a more appealing approach for fresh fish.