Hold the Frankenfish

I want everyone to know about genetically engineered (GE) salmon. The FDA is in the works to approve this GE salmon. It is an environmental as well as a health issue. First of all, it changes the quality of the fish and its eggs. As for its health effects, well, no one is 100 percent sure what it will do to the consumer, but here is what Food and Water Watch has to say about this frankenfish. The biotechnology industry has genetically engineered the fish to grow at twice the normal rate so it can get to market sooner and make more money, faster. If approved, GE salmon would be the first transgenic animal allowed into our food supply. Also, it’s unlikely that it would have to be labeled, so you might not even know you’re eating it.

The FDA doesn’t even do its own testing of genetically engineered animals: It relies on information provided by the company that wants approval. And because GE salmon are being considered as a new animal drug, the process isn’t focused on what happens to people who eat genetically engineered animals. So on top of the health concerns posed by raising salmon in crowded factory fish farms that rely on antibiotics and other chemicals, the FDA could be adding the unknown risks of GE salmon to the mix.

Also, the FDA is the same agency that’s in charge of overseeing the egg industry, and we see how well they’ve done that job. The FDA does not have the capacity to ensure the safety of food that is not genetically engineered so they certainly should not be in charge of allowing the first GE animal into our food supply.

Harrison Lane is a junior at Santa Ynez High School

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