Do we really want Genetically Engineered Salmon? Frankenfish or Aqua Advantage Fish? What is GMO?

Photo of GMO Agua Advantage Salmon (the large one) and "real" Atlantic Salmon

In this photo, the large fish is genetically engineered, as opposed to the small fish which is a “real” Atlantic Salmon.AquaBounty, a Massachusetts based company, is awaiting FDA approval for their genetically engineered salmon to hit the fish markets around the country. If approved, the fish could be on the market as early as 2012, says the AP.

Genetic Modification is such a bottom line moneymaker that big business is pouring tons of money into genetically altering our food sources. Take soybeans, all of a sudden they are bad for us, why? Soy beans absorb more chemicals and pesticides than any other vegetable, and we have genetically modified our soy, so literally unless it says “organic”, I’m not sure what you are eating. I am sure however, that every processed food on the shelf at the grocery store stands an above average chance at having soy (and not “organic”) as an ingredient, which explains a lot!

So, our Strawberries, Corn, Wheat, Potatoes, Soybeans, and really so many more produce items are silently genetically modified and sold to us, and  now Salmon? And guess what, no labelling required (as of yet), which is why most health conscious people are getting their ire up! GMO is becoming a huge business of bigger, faster, and costs less to produce! But, what about our health? Food is for our health, bottom line, and no other reason!

We have all heard the “CURRENT” news and talk of the FDA approving gentically altered salmon, or loosely referred to as  Frankenfish Salmon. So  let’s discuss this whole process of genetically modifying our fish, specifically salmon because it’s vulverable right now, and moreover,  it’s time we all know the details!

As a sidebar: If you are not aware of the difference between real fish that is called farmed salmon and real fish that is called wild salmon, I’ve added that information at the end of this post because there are inherent issues with farmed salmon that can be unhealthy as well. ALWAYS SHOP cold water wild salmon for good health. Let’s hope we don’t have to identify our fish as real or not – wow!

Anyway, here is the best definition of GMO Salmon I could find:

GMO Salmon is called AquAdvantage Salmon:

Genetically engineered for rapid growth with two stretches of foreign DNA, a growth hormone gene with an antifreeze protein promoter, these Atlantic salmon “frankenfish” hold a 20-fold growth advantage over non-genetically modified animals.1

 The FDA notes evidence of  “increased frequency of skeletal malformations, and increased prevalence of jaw erosions and multisystemic, focal inflammation” in the tissues of AquAdvantage Salmon.  However, the FDA dismisses these findings as “within the range observed in rapid growth phenotypes of non-genetically engineered Atlantic salmon.” In other words, the abnormalities they found were no worse than those currently plaguing farmed salmon genetically manipulated for accelerated growth through other means.

No one knows what the health affects will be, but I can tell you that when it comes to Genetically Modified (GMO) vegetables, I take serious issue with health value, and this is much worse in that we stand to lose our natural resource of salmon. Once the genetically modified salmon are released I’m assuming there will be no way to prevent integration of natural salmon with genetically modified salmon.

So genetically modified Aqua (what??) salmon grows twice as fast – and who’s to say that’s a good thing? I personally don’t support GMO for any reason. When we introduced chemicals and pesticides at the end of World War II, in hopes of growing crops bigger, better, and faster for our exploding population, we had no idea of the repercussions. I believe we are seeing them today in terms of symptoms and disease called out in more acronyms than the armed forces combined: ADD, ADHD, CFS, FMS, and the list goes on. 

Now keep in mind when our government told the farmers to use chemicals and pesticides (removing forever the good soil based organisms, more minerals, etc), we were trying to figure out what to do with our surplus of chemicals and pesticides left over from the war. Ultimately, our brightest minds in Washington figured out a place to sell the chemicals, to agriculture – we could grow better crops with chemicals – yikes! And now we are facing genetic modification, who would have thought?

If you don’t know what genetic modification is, it is basically ENGINEERING a food, and following are a few definitions:

  • A genetically modified organism (GMO) or genetically engineered organism (GEO) is an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. … 
  • Bacterium, plant or animal whose deoxyribonucleic acid has been deliberately altered. 
  • A plant, animal or micro-organism whose genes have been altered using genetic modification by the inclusion of foreign genetic material or by the alteration of some DNA. The foreign material may come from other individuals of the same or a different species, or it may be synthetic.
  • From the Sierra Club:

    Genetically Engineered CornThe last four years of the twentieth century witnessed the most rapid adoption of a new technology in history. Since 1996, millions of acres of farmland have been planted with genetically engineered (GE) crops—mainly corn, soybeans, and cotton. This means that genetically engineered organisms (GEOs) are being released to the environment on a massive scale, an event unprecedented in the 3.8 billion year history of life on this planet. This technological upheaval happened virtually without public debate, while our government played the role of enthusiastic promoter, rather than cautious regulator, of this radically new and environmentally hazardous technology.

    Genetic engineering is a new technology that combines genes from totally unrelated species, in combinations not possible using conventional breeding methods. Genes from an animal, say, a fish, can be put into a plant, a strawberry for instance. In fact this is an actual example of an attempt to “improve” strawberry plants. The fish gene is supposed to make the strawberries more resistant to frost by causing the strawberry plant to produce a form of antifreeze which the fish normally produces to endure cold ocean conditions.

    Over 60 percent of all processed foods purchased by U.S. consumers are manufactured with GE ingredients. Some corn and potatoes have even been genetically engineered to contain a gene from Bt bacteria which causes every cell of the plants to produce an insecticidal toxin. Yet there is no labeling of these or any GE foods as being genetically engineered, because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers the GEOs from which these foods are made to be “substantially equivalent” to the non-genetically engineered plant from which the GEOs are derived.

    The doctrine of substantial equivalence is pure pretext and rationalization with no basis in science. Yet, in a remarkable display of arrogance, the supporters of genetic engineering accuse their critics of not basing their objections on “sound science.”

    The FDA also uses this “substantial equivalence” rationalization as an excuse to avoid any effective testing of GE foods to determine their safety. Such testing might seriously delay or even prevent the introduction of GE crops into the marketplace.

    From OCA Organic Consumers Association:

    Stop Genetically Engineered Salmon from Coming to Market!

    We stand at a pivotal moment on Earth. The ocean’s are heating up and becoming more acidic because of human-induced global warming. Phytoplankton, the irreplaceable foundation of the ocean’s food chain are dying off. Wild fish populations are crashing, not only because of global warming, but because we are allowing out-of-control, “profit at any cost” industrial fishing corporations to wreck havoc. And now the coup de grace.

     The Obama Administration is poised to approve the first genetically engineered fish for human consumption, GE salmon, while the FDA is still aiding and abetting the force-feeding of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to the public, wielding the “substantial equivalence” of GMO, legally blocking adequate safety testing and labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

    We need to take action now, before the so-called FDA “review” of genetically engineered salmon is finished. It’s unlikely the Obama Administration will ban GMO foods or fish, even though they are inherently hazardous. But if massive public pressure can force the FDA to require mandatory labels on Genetically Engineered fish, polls indicate that most consumers will boycott these GE fish and force them off the market. We have until November 22, 2010, to submit public comments calling for labeling genetically engineered salmon. In addition the FDA still needs to do an Environmental Assessment before approving the GE salmon. The FDA Environmental Assessment will include a 30 day public comment period.

    How many letters can we generate in the next two months?

    You sent 100,000 letters in opposition to Tom Vilsack for USDA Secretary because of his pro-biotech, pro-Monsanto politics. We need to send that many or more to stop genetically engineered salmon. Direct action is going to be necessary, too. If the Obama Administration stubbornly continues to hide behind the scientifically discredited doctrine of “substantial equivalence” claiming there isn’t a “material” difference between genetically engineered and normal salmon, then we’ll have no choice but to use every tactic we can muster to throw a wrench into the gears of the Frankenfoods Express.

    You can help save the wild fish and the oceans instead of allowing the biotech industry to brainwash us into believing that industrial fish farms and genetic engineering represent the future of food.

    Write to the FDA to demand non GMO, at the very least, labels and adequate pre-market safety-testing of GMOs.

    Division of Dockets Management
    Food and Drug Administration
    5630 Fishers Lane, Room 1061
    Rockville, MD 20852

    Be sure to reference Docket No. FDA-2010-N-0385.

    The difference between farm raised salmon and wild salmon from

    PLUS: What Is the Difference Between Farmed & Wild Salmon?

    By Annie Wang, eHow Contributor

    What Is the Difference Between Farmed & Wild Salmon?
    Jeremy Keith of Brighton & Hove, United Kingdom


    What Is the Difference Between Farmed & Wild Salmon?


    Given the choice between farm-raised or wild-caught salmon, consumers may not know which to choose. There are considerable nutritional and environmental issues to consider when making the choice between farm-raised and wild-caught salmon.

      Farm-raised Salmon

    1. Over $1 billion worth of fish are farmed in the United States each year, salmon being one of the most popular species.
    2. Drawbacks of Farm-raised Salmon

    3. Because farmed fish have a reliable food source and less area in which to swim, their bodies are generally fattier than wild salmon, with less Omega-3 fatty acids.
    4. Health Risks Associated with Farm-raised Salmon

    5. Farmed salmon contain more unhealthy Omega-6 fats, which can lead to inflammation associated with heart attack, stroke and other health problems.
    6. Benefits of Wild Salmon

    7. Wild salmon are 30% leaner than their farm-raised counterparts, and contain 20% more usable protein. Wild salmon also have more Omega-3 fatty acids, which prevent heart disease, lower triglycerides which cause high cholesterol, prevent certain cancers and regulate insulin levels.
    8. Environmental Concerns

    9. Dalhousie University studies completed in 2008 show that the population of wild salmon decrease by 50% when a fish-farm is located near their habitat. This massive population decrease is largely due to diseases and parasites spread to wild salmon by farmed fish.
    10. Why Farmed Salmon is Bad for Wild Salmon

    11. Farmed salmon escape and breed with the wild salmon, thus diluting the genetic pool and the wild salmon’s ability to survive.
    12. Fish Farms Pollute

    13. The antibiotics and other chemicals used to treat farmed fish also leaks into the water supply and effects other marine creatures. Antibiotic resistance in human diseases has been attributed to the increased exposure to antibiotic chemicals in food and water supplies, no small amount of which is due to fish farms.
    About Maralinehttp://www.pHBodyBalance.comMaraline is internationally recognized as a pH Body Balance and Nutritional Products Specialist, and has written many related articles, appears on radio and guest speaks at many events. "Small Changes That Make The Biggest Difference" in the quality of your life. AND...."Let's not "substitute" but let us "replace," with better tasting foods and drinks that are better for you, and most importantly, provide better results!" "Your body has intelligence, point it in the right direction, and YOU will follow!"

    One thought on “Do we really want Genetically Engineered Salmon? Frankenfish or Aqua Advantage Fish? What is GMO?

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