The FDA is close to approving genetically altered salmon for human consumption.  From the story:

The Food and Drug Administration is seriously considering whether to approve the first genetically engineered animal that people would eat — salmon that can grow at twice the normal rate. The developer of the salmon has been trying to get approval for a decade. But the company now seems to have submitted most or all of the data the F.D.A. needs to analyze whether the salmon are safe to eat, nutritionally equivalent to other salmon and safe for the environment, according to government and biotechnology industry officials. A public meeting to discuss the salmon may be held as early as this fall...

The salmon was developed by a company called AquaBounty Technologies and would be raised in fish farms. It is an Atlantic salmon that contains a growth hormone gene from a Chinook salmon as well as a genetic on-switch from the ocean pout, a distant relative of the salmon. Normally, salmon do not make growth hormone in cold weather. But the pout’s on-switch keeps production of the hormone going year round. The result is salmon that can grow to market size in 16 to 18 months instead of three years, though the company says the modified salmon will not end up any bigger than a conventional fish. “You don’t get salmon the size of the Hindenburg,” said Ronald L. Stotish, the chief executive of AquaBounty. “You can get to those target weights in a shorter time.”

I am certainly not opposed in principle to altering food to improve its productivity, as here, or to increase nutrients (as in golden rice).  But I do believe that genetically altered food should be labeled, which is not necessarily required now.  At the very least, companies that supply natural food should be able to label it as unaltered without the kind of legal bullying attempted unsuccessfully by Monsanto against dairy farmers who labeled their  milk as coming from cows not  injected with bovine growth hormone (as Ralph Nader and and I detailed in our book, No Contest: Corporate Lawyers and the Perversion of Justice in America).

Articles by Wesley J. Smith

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