The AquAdvantage salmon, a genetically modified fish that grows year round and much faster than a natural salmon, has been approved for human consumption for years now (at least in the US). But one consistent hurdle to getting the "FrankenFish" on supermarket shelves is the suspected environmental impact.
Critics speculate that the AquAdvantage salmon, needing as it does so much more food than a natural salmon, could extinguish the food sources in a natural salmon's habitat. They also worry about the possibility of interbreeding. But the FDA has officially given its mark of environmental approval, thanks to certain precautions AquaBounty, the company behind the fish, has taken. The Daily Mail says, "their fish are all sterile and grown in secure containers on land-based fish farms," which is not entirely accurate; only 95% of the fish are sterile, and given how many fish could be produced, 5% is not an insignificant number.
Consumer's Union, run by the folks behind Consumer Reports, is also concerned about the possibility that the fish will aggravate allergies, citing a not-very-thorough allergen study (the FDA tested only six fish, and did find "an increase in allergy-causing potential"). The bigger issue seems to be that the FDA has shown no particular desire to require markets to label AquAdvantage fish as genetically modified. Most non-organic vegetables sold in the US have been genetically modified in some way, as has the feed given to animals, none of which is labeled, but as this is the first genetically modified animal intended for direct consumption, advocacy groups want a clear label to set a precedent for the future.
Please, at least try to get some of the "Science" right. It's not a giant fish, it GROWS twice as fast. Plus, of course, no "Science" backing up your assertion that "only" 95% are sterile.
Sensationalistic headline, sensationalistic picture, no science.
We can now officially change the name of this publication to "Popular Pseudo Science", and just be done with it!
Breeders have been working to increase the growth rate in animals for decades. If you eat chicken, you eat birds that have been specificly bred to grow faster and be market ready in a shorter time. This is how the market works. Food producers want something that will grow bigger faster, and cost less.
5% is a large number, if they are successful breeders and the streams and oceans then will be over flowing with mutant fish, eating all other fishes, Then forcing the stream and ocean environment to be unbalance causing more havoc and death of the environment. Even 1% or less is bad, simply if they are successful at breeding with the wild salmon fish.
Are there any percievable differences in the fish once they are grown? Do the modified fish have a shorter lifespan or behave differently than "non-modified" salmon? I don't think we can prevent the eventual introduction of the genes into the wild (through mutation or some other unexpected occurance) , so we may as well prepare ourselves for the changes rather than worry over them at this point.
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<I>I don't think we can prevent the eventual introduction of the genes into the wild (through mutation or some other unexpected occurance) , so we may as well prepare ourselves for the changes rather than worry over them at this point.<I/>
Actually, this is not true. As stated on their website, they do not farm near fisheries. (Read the following info below)
<I>AAS will be grown as sterile, all-female populations in land-based facilities with redundant biological and physical containment. As a result, AquAdvantage® Salmon cannot escape or reproduce in the wild and pose no threat to wild salmon populations.<I/>
@ darkbreeze; Actually, it IS TRUE. Come live in my state and you can damn well see it firsthand.
We have triploid 'trout' that are currently destroying the habitat of ALL FISH in one of the most critical watersheds-waterways in this nation. They have already escaped into the wild. They outeat all other fish by food source, as well as eating real fish, eggs, whatever.
These scummy 'salmon' are now being 'developed' in semi-restricted waterways in this state, just as the 'trout' were at first. They have also likely escaped confinement just as the triploid 'trout' have.
If you saw and felt the 'flesh' of these so-called fish, you would probably not feed them to your loved ones.
I'd feed my kids on dog first.
Sorry quasi44, you are wrong. Triploid trout did not escape into the wild, they were deliberately released in multiple locations. They are used to stock waterways. Since they are sterile, they die out if not caught by anglers.
Evolution takes many forms. The megalodon went extinct because it was too big, and its food source dwindled after north and south america collided. (according to one theory) Humans are speeding up evolution tremendously, though genetic engineering and encroaching on habitat, pollution and other factors. Whether or not the fish could concievably cause illness in humans is the only real concern i see. Its inevitable that either intentionally or through human error the modified fish will enter the ocean, and the strongest will survive, same as it has always been on earth.
@ Fred Jones; Triploids DID escape confinement, right here in my less than pristine state. Cushman Reservoir complex, right above the Hanford Reservation. See, it wasn't enough to have ALL THAT NUCLEAR WASTE going into the major watershed leading to the Columbia River, nope. Gotta get a jumpstart on all those mutations by putting triploids there. Streams lead to rivers, and viola! See, the streams leading out of there just don't flow in the summer when they put them in there to destroy all natural habitat and food sources, but they sure do in the rainy seasons. Before that, they were expected to be a contained, experimental ecosystem so they could get some kind of idea how they'd impact the environment if released. It devastated the gamefish there, all of them. The idiots had no intention to actually release them, as release had not been cleared federally. Many of us who fish were actively trying to stop the project, and then there was no project, because they had no controls of any sort. So now, Earth has triploids, but soon, will have little else.
@ Fred Jones; Oh, yeah. Just like these so-called salmon, some percentage of triploids can breed.
The triploids were in "net pens" (in the water, contained only by fishing nets) when one of the nets ruptured. Obviously, "net pens" are water-based facilities, not the land-based facilities associated with the AquAdvantage salmon. Fishermen have been authorized to bag plenty of triploids and are very happily doing so...
Just got a call from Don Talbot with Hooked On Toys in Wenatchee and the North-central Washington Booster Association, Tourism Bureau & Salmon Festival Committee.
He’s been paging through the new fishin’ regs today and had some eye-popping calculations to pass along.
Talbot points out that there on page 75 it states that the daily salmon limit for the Brewster Pool on the Upper Columbia River from July 16-Aug. 31 will be a whopping dozen.
Add in the 10-triploid trout limit on the upper half of the pool from June 1-Aug. 15, and you have a chance to bring home some very, very serious quantities of fish flesh should the trout and salmon be snappy on any given day in the one-month time frame where the big limits overlap.
“That’s a 22-fish limit, and I’m gonna be the first to do it!” Talbot proclaims.
(Photo) NORTH-CENTRAL WASHINGTON ANGLERS LIKE SCOTT FLETCHER HAVE A CHANCE TO SERIOUSLY STUFF THEIR ICEBOXES COURTESY OF SOME BIG SOCKEYE, CHINOOK AND TROUT LIMITS ON THE BREWSTER POOL THIS SUMMER. (WRIGHT & McGILL/EAGLE CLAW PHOTO CONTEST)
The big bags come courtesy of a huge projected run of sockeye up the Okanogan River, a large forecasted return of summer Chinook to the area, and last spring’s monster runoff that loosed over 100,000 then-4-to-5-pound trout from their netpens upstream in Rufus Woods Lake.
The salmon daily limits are six sockeye and six Chinook, but only three of those kings can be adults (only one wild fish).
(The same sockeye and king limits are also in effect from Priest Rapids Dam up to Wells Dam, the regs state.)
Talbot figures that on the Brewster Pool it’ll take him as little as an hour to knock out the sockeye part of the bag, while the Chinook will be tough and the jacks trickier still due to historically low numbers of returning subadults.
Run timing, water temperatures for the Columbia and the Okanogan River, and relative biteyness of the fish will all affect how close anyone actually comes to landing the 12-salmon limit.
As for the trips, “There’s an absolute slew of those fish down there,” says Talbot.
Last summer WDFW held a special fishery to remove the escapees before they chowed down on juvenile steelhead but had to close it in late August as returning adult steelhead numbers increased.
Fishing for the triploids will be limited to the Brewster Pool from the Highway 173 bridge up to Chief Joseph Dam.
Unlike other waters in the state where anglers can only keep limited numbers of larger trout, here the minimum size for retention is 12 inches and there is no maximum.
The two-pole endorsement is in the house for the salmon and trout fisheries; you’ll also need the Columbia River endorsement.
It all adds up to some big opportunity in the coming months, and you can bet Don Talbot will not only be trying to limit out, but outfitting customers to give it their best shot.
“Where else can you get 22 fish in a day?” he asks.
Ummm, lemme think on that one.
And then update my summer vacation plans.