Would You Eat Genetically Engineered Fish?

A few years ago, I wrote an article on salmon … here’s what I had to say about genetically engineered salmon in 2008:

Genetically engineered salmon are not on our dinner plates—yet. But there is a U.S. company, AquaBounty Technologies, that is aggressively pursuing the development of this fast-growing fish by injecting growth hormone genes into fertilized eggs.  According to researchers at Purdue University and The National Academy of Sciences, “transgenic fish pose considerable risk when released, or escapes, into the wild.” The FDA is currently reviewing the process of developing GE salmon and there have been bills introduced to both the Senate and the House seeking approval permits to raise and sell the fish. At the same time, there are a number of petitions being circulated throughout the restaurant and commercial fishing industry to halt the introduction of GE salmon into the marketplace. Bottom line, individual beliefs and personal preference for taste will determine whether or not you choose to purchase these super-fish which are expected to hit retail cold cases sometime this year or next.

Of course the super-fish never hit our supermarkets because the FDA wouldn’t approve the injectable hormone used to stimulate growth. (GE salmon grow 11 times faster than wild salmon and their farm-raised Atlantic counterparts take 28-36 months to mature; GE salmon, 18-20 months.)

Late 2015, the FDA ruled, “that food from AquAdvantage Salmon is as safe and nutritious as that from non-GE Atlantic salmon” and approved the sale of this salmon in the U.S. (Note, it does have to be labeled as so.) So the fish grew … and the grew … and they grew … and now, the salmon are ready to eat—that is, if you don’t mind eating a fish that’s been injected with growth hormones; just this week, AquaBounty sold five tons of the super-fish to a Canadian company.

Thoughts? I’m on the fence. My initial reaction is no way, no how, will I eat the fish. But I’ve been wrong before … this topic, as with many others concerning seafood, needs to be explored in depth by both consumer and advocacy groups alike. For more on this topic: Seafood Source

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Featured image from the OSU Special Collections & Archives Research Center.

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Hey there. I’m Shauna—a West Coast transplant in the landlocked state of Indiana … when I moved here I missed the beaches, the mountains, the desert, the rivers … and it took me a while to find places nearby that paralleled my old stomping grounds. BUT. Now that I’ve lived here for over 15 years, I’ve had time to explore the region and you know what? It’s amazing. There’s so much to do—from skiing in northern Michigan to relaxing lakeside in southern Kentucky to rocking the nightlife in one of the many metropolitan areas. And I love it here. I really do. BUT. I do miss the sea … and the sand and the rush of the waves … the smell of seawater … even the sting of too much sun after a day spent lollygagging at the beach. And I miss the constant supply of seafood and shellfish and riverfish? About that … since I’ve moved to the Midwest I’ve noticed that a lot of people here don’t consider fish that come from the river seafood … I’m not sure I agree, but hence the new word I’ve created, “riverfish” … time will tell if Webster picks it up ; ) So this little blog is my way of bringing a little bit of sea life (or is it sealife?) to the Midwest. Here you’ll find all kinds of information … some that you might find more useful than others—like where to find the best seafood (and riverfish) in the Midwest. And some, you might just find amusing … or not. Either way, and if nothing else, I hope you leave my little space here on the world wide web a little refreshed and maybe even a little inspired to bring a little bit of the ocean home with you. (Yes, I did use the word “little” four times in one sentence … it’s OK … mermaids like to repeat themselves.) Cheers! The Midwest Mermaid Oh, and if your curious, yes, I do actually write for a living … if you want to know about the organizations I work with and the publications where you can find my land legs, swim on over to the “Portfolio” tab … and thanks for visiting.

One thought on “Would You Eat Genetically Engineered Fish?

  1. I will most definitely NOT be eating any genetically engineered fish. I was born and raised on the west coast where we pulled our wild fish right from the ocean or the river, if the fish was not big enough to keep we simply threw it back so it could grow naturally on its own. The thought of eating something that was given growth hormones makes my stomach turn. Thanks for the informative piece.

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