Canada’s health watchdog has declared that the GM salmon, AquaAdvantage, is safe for human consumption. This will allow the owner of the patented fish AquaBounty, to commercially produce and sell for human consumption their manufactured salmon. The AquaAdvantage fish was approved by the FDA last year.
The AquaAdvantage fish will not have to be labelled to alert consumers that it is a construct of Atlantic salmon, chinook salmon and the ocean pout.
To manufacture this new type of fish eggs from Atlantic salmon have genes from chinook salmon and from the ocean or eel pout. The chinook contributes the ability to continuously produce growth hormone and the eel pout produces a protein that acts as an anti-freeze which allows the fish to continue growing in very cold water.
The manufactured fish reach marketable size six to eight months faster than the farmed Atlantic salmon.
Currently the altered salmon eggs are manufactured in Canada but are moved to Panama where the fish are grown to marketable size in a dry land operation. This is to ensure that the genetically engineered fish do not escape to compete with wild salmon stock or other ocean life.
The manufacture of the GM fish eggs renders the eggs sterile, according to the AquaBounty information.
There are still many questions about the future of this product. Chinook salmon are a wild variety found in the Pacific Ocean. Many people have eaten them for centuries. They are safe to eat. The eel pout is not normally used as a food fish.
Atlantic salmon swimming wild are safe to eat. The jury is out with regard to “farmed” Atlantic salmon. They are usually raised in cold water, open net operations. Because they are crowded, disease both viral and bacterial, is an ongoing problem.
The argument that having a quick growing super sized salmon will help to feed the world’s hungry is without merit. Salmon has become a luxury item. Salmon are carnivores and fish stock is being mined from the oceans to make food for commercial fish farms.
The ability of technology to produce new, novel forms of life has coined a new phrase – synthetic biology. The following is from BIO explaining the difference between old fashioned genetic engineering and synthetic biology:
Genetic engineering usually involves the transfer of individual genes from one microbe or cell to another; synthetic biology envisions the assembly of novel microbial genomes from a set of standardized genetic parts that are then inserted into a microbe or cell. Bio
Hippocrates Health Institute
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