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Genetically Modified Salmon: A Very Bad Idea

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Genetically Modified Salmon: A Very Bad Idea

The Massachusetts company AquaBounty Technologies wants to sell the salmon it has genetically modified. The FDA has been holding hearings on whether to permit it. If the FDA approves this “Frankenfish,” there will be no special labeling to let us know. As consumers we will not know whether we’re buying salmon that’s evolved naturally or salmon that’s been tinkered with.

Scientists and consumer advocatess have been tossing out facts, distortions, half truths, misleading statements. . . you know, the usual. On the one hand, we have a science writer for NPR pooh-poohing the public’s concerns. On the other hand, we have activists at Food & Water Watch stating:

“The commercialization of GE salmon could threaten public health, wipe out wild salmon populations, diminish biodiversity of marine environments, and further drive the unhealthy trend of producing more of the fish we eat in overcrowded, unhealthy factory fish farms.

“That’s all on top of potentially changing the quality of salmon, one of most popular fish in the U.S. diet.”

Marion Nestle, author of the book Safe Food: The Politics of Food Safety, writes on her blog, Food Safety:

“Of course the public does not trust genetically modified foods. The foods are not labeled. If the biotech industry and the FDA want the public to trust them, they need to label the GM salmon and all the other GM foods in the marketplace.

“The public wants the right to choose.  The public should have the right to choose.

“The issue of GM foods cannot just be about safety.

“My mantra on this one: Even if genetically modified foods are safe, they are not necessarily acceptable.”

According to Business Week, the FDA regulates genetically engineered animals the same way it regulates new veterinary drugs, with research and other information under a lock of “confidentiality.” There’s no objective information available from a source other than the company that’s creating the fish. And we all know what a great track record the drug companies have in making all relevant information available.

Some proponents of GMO claim that it’s safe because humans have been “genetically modifying” plant foods for hundreds of years.

Well, I’m sorry, there’s a difference between “genetically modifying” a food by breeding for certain characteristics as opposed to inserting, say, pig DNA into a tomato.

Remember, food isn’t just calories in, food is information. It talks to your DNA and turns switches on and off. Eating foods that are right for you will make you healthy, and eating foods that aren’t will make you sick.

Here’s the bottom line for me: Eating processed foods, too much sugar, etc., has made me sick. Now I’m doing my best to eat foods that are whole, undamaged, and natural because that’s what will reestablish my health. How do we measure whether a GMO salmon is “safe” to eat? Do we take into account the messages that particular “food” will send to my DNA?

I thought not. And my answer is, no thanks.

Are you willing to eat GMO crops and animals? Why or why not? You can leave a comment by clicking the link above if you’re reading this post on the blog, or hop on over to the Overcome Diabesity page on Facebook and join the discussion there.

photo by James Bowe on flickr

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