Debate Rages Over the Safety of Genetically Modified Salmon

Posted on December 28, 2012

The word Frankenfish probably doesn’t conjure up images of something that you would want on your seafood platter.  This somewhat derogatory term has been bestowed upon a type of salmon that has been genetically modified by scientists.  Specifically, a company called AquaBounty has added a couple genes from other fish to make the salmon grow all throughout the year and at a more rapid pace.  This results in a type of salmon whose true name is AquaAdvantage Salmon.

The Food and Drug Administration has determined that this type of fish does not pose any kind of threat to the environment at large, and thus it might not be long before we see such salmon appearing at our local grocery store.  Many scientists also say the risks to health are limited and that this type of fish would not endanger consumers or cause allergic reactions at rates higher than any other type of fish.

Still, that hasn’t stopped some dissenters from expressing their displeasure at the FDA’s relative complacence with genetically modified foods.  One lawmaker in Congress has attempted to get genetically modified food legislation of some sort passed every year for the past 15 years, but has thus far come up short.  Others worry about the aforementioned allergen risk.  But a scientist from the University of Nebraska argues that the nature of seafood allergies is such that persons are allergic to all types of fish as opposed to just one specific breed.

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