Archive for March, 2012
Questionable Safety, Consumers in the Dark
The first genetically modified animal food product could hit shelves this year in the form of GMO salmon. Scientists from AquaBounty Technologies of Waltham, Massachusetts have created a salmon species that grows twice as fast as normal salmon and can therefore go from birth to market in twice the time. The scientists achieved this result by “adding a growth hormone gene from one fish plus an antifreeze gene from another”. The FDA has already ruled this fish safe for consumption, although several experts on the panel have voiced concerns about poor or missing data from the analysis and risk assessment.
Safety issues aside, the current issue being debated is whether the GMO salmon should be labeled on supermarket shelves. The industry representing these GMO fish is heavily pushing the FDA to leave the salmon un-labeled, citing a concern about “irrelevant” health concerns that consumers may have and thus prevent the sale of their product. Currently GMO grains and vegetables are not required to be labeled as such, and the concern is that this status-quo will apply to salmon as well.
Personally I find it unbelievable that GMO salmon could hit the market unlabeled, but I fear nonetheless that this will be the case. I still have safety concerns – nutrition and medical “experts” have made some pretty bad mistakes in the past – they used to think trans fats were healthful, for example, and yet still get confused about the simple chicken egg. How can they be certain about the unknown unknowns of eating GMO animals?
Again, safety issues aside, help ensure that consumers – yourself included – at least have the right to choose for themselves. Sign this petition to ensure that GMO foods are labeled.