At around year 2010, GE salmon, more commonly known as Frankenfish, was the hot topic in the world of bioagriculture and health. Although the current situation with GE salmon is unknown, some are several articles that were posted between now and 2010 in regards to GE salmon. From reading several articles of the matter, I have observed that many fear is instilled within the articles.
A small Massachusetts-based biotechnology company, called AquaBounty, is trying to fix the consumers’ demand of aquaculture product. Their AquAdvantage salmon contains “a gene from the chinook salmon, a larger cousin that cruises colder waters in the north.” With those genes, AquAdvantage salmons’ vital growth hormone are activated rather than shut down after a specific point, which enables salmon to grow more quickly. According to AquaBounty, the AquAdvantage salmon grow up to twice as fast as a conventional Atlantic salmon.
The reason why this gene modification is important is because the expansion of aquaculture is very demanding of fish food. Atlantic Salmon are carnivores, so they require to be fed a lot of small fish in order to grow. By taking out a mass of small fish from the ocean to feed the salmons, we’re essentially losing more fish than gaining them. With the AquAdvantage salmons, feeding is reduced to certain amount and expansion of aquaculture becomes more sustainable. The economic benefit and environmental preservation are quite obviously advantageous; however, there are concerns with marketing genetically modified transgenic fish for people to consume.
The main concern is the effects of eating transgenic fish and potential harms upheld within it. As of now, there are no concrete evidence which shows that transgenic fish will cause allergic reactions. However, some research has suggested that “transgenic fish, including that presented by the FDA for the approval of the AquAdvantage salmon, may be susceptible to more diseases than fish currently grown in aquaculture facilities.” Even though this statement is not backed up by publicly announced data, the potential danger of this statement being true is quite disastrous. If the statement were to be true, then additional antibiotics have to be given into salmons . Having to insert additional antibiotics into salmons will increase the odds of consumers ingesting some of the antibiotics. This threat of this is that some antibiotics are toxic and it can potentially cause fatal allergic reactions. Also, additional usage of antibiotics will exacerbate the situation of ‘super’ bacteria.
Knowing public’s need of having AquaBounty and other biotechnology company to put their efforts into testing their products for safety and stability from consumption, only time will tell of what may happen with transgenic fish. Hypothetically, if transgenic fish was to be approved to be marketed and sold, then the environment and wild salmon could be in danger. According to the post on ge-fish.org, “eat year millions of farmed salmon escape from open-water net pens.” Even though transgenic fish could be safe, it would be dangerous to have genetically modified organism in the wild causing havoc and other unpredictable consequences. For one thing, having GE salmon, which can grow quickly, in the wild will demolish the natural competition of wild salmon because GE salmon will be fully grown by the time wild salmons reach half way.