Friday, March 8, 2013


Americans are about to add one more GM food to their diet if the FDA finally clears GM salmon as safe for human consumption. Developed by a small scale enterprise through biotechnology route, GM salmon is going to be a money spinner as it has the ability to grow fast and big resulting in very significantly higher productivity. According to the developers who promptly patented their product, there is absolutely no difference in taste, flavor and texture between normal and GM version of the fish. As for safety some short term studies seem to have been made based on which safety clearance was sought. As the US is one of the most ardent "admirers" of GM foods, with more than 80% of foods in the market containing GM ingredients, FDA just could not hold up the clearance process for too long. Here is a commentary on the present position vis-a-vis GM salmon in the US as being reported in the media.

"Michael Hansen, a researcher at the Consumers Union, explained that GE fish could cause allergic reactions that the FDA is unable to anticipate. GE fish will also likely not be labeled accordingly, leaving consumers in the dark about where the fish is coming from. If the FDA does not heed the public outcry, Congress could still prevent the commercialization of GE fish. Wenonah Hauter, director at the Food & Water Watch, urges consumers to contact their congressmen to overturn what has been called "a dangerous experiment" at the expense of consumer health. Other concerns about GE fish pertain to its ability to outcompete natural Atlantic salmon. If it is released into the wild, the AquAdvantage salmon could adapt to new pray, survive in tough habitats, and reproduce much faster than its natural counterpart.Andrew Kimbrell of the Center for Food Safety concluded that "the GE salmon has no socially redeeming value. It's bad for the consumer, bad for the salmon industry and bad for the environment."

The most unfortunate aspect of GM salmon clearance is that the safety authorities, in collusion with the industry is trying to push the product on to the dining table of even those who are not willing to consume them. As of now the industry is not being mandated to declare the GM nature of the fish on the label for giving an option to those not wanting to eat them because FDA holds the view that GM salmon is not significantly different from natural salmon in any way. If stray reports concerning the undesirable consequences of consuming GM products are taken seriously, there can be a considerable percentage of population which can develop allergy and serious health consequence. Fears are also being expressed regarding the possibility of extinction of natural salmon in the ocean if GM versions gain access unintentionally or for commercial reasons. if mankind is driven by logic, fish eating should have stopped long ago considering one has food grains like Chea which has more than three times Omega-3 fats than that in Fish!


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