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September 8th, 2010
01:18 PM ET

FDA to consider OK of genetically engineered salmon

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected later this month to decide whether to approve genetically engineered salmon for human consumption. If OK'd it would be the first genetically modified animal permitted by the food safety agency.

A company, AquAdvantage Salmon, has injected growth hormones into Atlantic salmon that enable the fish to reach maturity in half the  normal growth time,  16 to 18 months rather than 30 months.

The FDA  in its analysis released last week, wrote: “We therefore conclude the food from AquAdvantage Salmon… is as safe as food from conventional Atlantic salmon and that there is a reasonable certainty of no harm from the consumption of food from this animal.”

But critics question possible health effects of eating fish containing the growth hormone.

“It’s impossible to talk about the risks other than saying they haven't been properly assessed, other than process has been rushed and we don't know,” said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food and Water Watch. She added that the FDA is a “very stressed agency” with all the latest recalls and outbreaks, that it “can't ensure the safety of the foods they currently regulate.”

Hauter said that the FDA has relied too heavily on information provided by AquAdvantage and that there should be a more extended time given to thoroughly vet and discuss risks.

On September 19-21, the FDA will hold two public meetings on the issue. A  final decision is expected in the weeks following those meetings.


soundoff (103 Responses)
  1. kyle

    hmmm sounds like cheaper salmon is coming to a store near you. What would be the differences between fish with hormones and cows with hormones? If we are cleared to eat one why wouldn't we be cleared to eat the other one. I love salmon and it's great for you so i hope they are safe. for diet tips for weight loss check out http://www.diet-myths.com

    September 8, 2010 at 14:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jenngg

      If our gov't would mandate labeling of GM foods (as they do in Europe) then at least people would be able to make semi-informed decisions about what they are eating.

      September 8, 2010 at 15:08 | Report abuse |
    • Adam Nash

      Friends don't let friends eat farmed salmon.

      September 9, 2010 at 00:33 | Report abuse |
    • keyser soulja

      This is more bad ideas to save money. My cousin's kid just had her first period at 9 years old and she has boobs already 2. We need to stop adding crap to our food supply that isn't there naturally, I'm sure my cousin would be happier if they didn't have to explain to a 9 year old why blood is coming from her private area. I love how we are so quick to accept something based on cost savings. Growth hormones are banned for human use(unless it's a medical necessity) due to horrible side effects but it's ok to eat growth hormone injected fish? WTF

      September 9, 2010 at 01:47 | Report abuse |
    • ali

      "hormones" in food are not causing early puberty. If you read actual science texts about it you will find that the hormones they use for milk and beef production will NOT make it into your blood stream, your digestive system will break these down.

      Early puberty is seeming to be caused by childhood obesity and environmental factors.

      Every vegetable you eat has been genetically modified by hundreds of years of farmers selecting hardy strains that yield more. Same way your purebreed pet has been genetically modified from it's ancestors in the wild.

      Labeling as non-gentically modifed is just more propoganda that will make people pay more than they are paying now for not being educated about their food.

      September 9, 2010 at 08:00 | Report abuse |
    • Scientist 1

      This article is RIDICULOUS! Growth hormones and genetic engineering are two TOTALLY DIFFERENT subjects. Why are reporters at CNN so dumb?

      September 9, 2010 at 10:19 | Report abuse |
    • Jacinda

      Genetically modified salmon don't need growth hormones added. That's the beauty of it, and its a welcomed improvement. They will grow faster to their normal mature size without the use of growth hormones. It's the same as genetic inheritance but more exact. Say, for example, a tall man and a short woman have a child. That child has a good, but not guaranteed, chance of inheriting dad's tall gene. All that is happening here is they have figured out how to guarantee the fish has the genes it needs to grow faster (or be tall for example). It's not scary at all when you know how it works. Then, would it really be necessary to label this particular fish, when genetic modification has already been happening for a hundred years through less exact, unguaranteed cross breeding methods? They would be forced to label everything currently in the grocery store as GM, and no one would be able to tell the difference between what foods were modified through old school cross breeding, and which were modified with more precision, like this salmon. Seems it would be a pointless waste of time and money to label.

      September 10, 2010 at 00:32 | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      Ali,

      There is a differene between breeding and genetic engineering: breeding requires that two varieties of the same species are brought together naturally, and plants with the desired traits are selected and continued further, naturally. This is called 'artificial selection' which the Aztecs used to give us corn from grass. Genetic modification requires high-technology to force DNA from unrelated species (i.e. the Bt bacteria and a corn plant) to be connected. Normally, bacteria and corn do not breed.

      Do not confuse breeding and selectivity with this genetic modification.

      September 10, 2010 at 13:26 | Report abuse |
    • Niripsa

      Jacinda and ALi
      ...It's one thing to use ge foods to save people from certain situations....eg: starvation- not the most ideal solution but certainly less damaging.... Using ge to have access to cheaper salmon? really?
      .... natural selection takes a long time. Forcibly introducing genes into a genome can cause many side-effects whose damage to the consumer may not manifest itself till much later. So while Mr or Ms "i need cheap salmon" lover is firing up his/her grill to enjoy ge salmon every other day, some people would rather enjoy expensive natural salmon once a year or whenever they can afford it.
      So ge salmon lovers, please do be considerate and pay the extra fee for labeling. It's enough that those with health problems caused by consuming such products could possibly be using our hard earned tax dollars on later health problems.

      September 11, 2010 at 11:02 | Report abuse |
  2. Reformed Republican

    Is there ANY real reason to do this other than helping another corporation make money faster?

    September 8, 2010 at 14:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jason

      nope...

      September 8, 2010 at 15:49 | Report abuse |
    • MrsFizzy

      Bingo!

      September 8, 2010 at 17:06 | Report abuse |
    • Babak from Los Angels

      No not really .. other than making a few doctors rich in the future who will have to fix what eating this fish did to us.

      September 8, 2010 at 19:15 | Report abuse |
  3. Zory

    Scary!!!!!!

    September 8, 2010 at 14:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. concerned

    Keep my Food and Drugs separate, FDA!

    September 8, 2010 at 14:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • anne

      Maybe if enough people voice their opinion at least the GM labelling will be put on the products.

      September 8, 2010 at 15:11 | Report abuse |
    • Brenda L.

      Go to FDA website an genetically modified food.
      According to the Dockets Branch, the Draft Guidance # 187 received a total of almost 29,000 comments as of mid-December 2008. Of this total, approximately 28,000 either were form letters or simply made general statements about GE animals or the guidance. Of these, the vast majority opposed the genetic engineering of animals. The remaining 797 comments contained specific suggestions or criticisms. Of these, approximately 60 were what we consider to be substantive, because they provided detailed analyses, recommendations, or opinions. They came from consumers, academics, animal advocacy groups, trade and professional associations, consumer and environmental groups, foreign governments, other federal and state government agencies, developers of GE animals, meat producers and purveyors, and pharmaceutical companies.

      III. Summary of Comments followed by FDA’s Responses (By Topic)

      As noted above, most of the form letters and single-issue comments that FDA received opposed the use of genetic engineering in general, and the genetic engineering of animals in particular. Many comments also expressed concern about animal welfare. Whether animals should be genetically engineered, as an ethical matter, is outside the scope of this guidance. The purpose of the guidance is to describe how the Act’s new animal drug provisions and FDA’s implementing regulations apply to GE animals. FDA’s authority over new animal drugs includes review of the effects of such drugs on the health of the animals. To the extent that animal welfare encompasses animal health, FDA does include such issues in its review.

      September 8, 2010 at 17:52 | Report abuse |
    • Brenda L.

      Note that the FDA doesn't care about ethics, animal cruelty, or the 28,000 people who don't want it. 60 corporate people want it, so we have it.

      September 8, 2010 at 17:55 | Report abuse |
    • Jacinda

      Main stream media does a very good job of using scare tactics to boost sales. The scared then scream out in protest, hence the thousands of protest letters. There will naturally be many, many more protest letters than those of support in this case. Those who support it understand how simple and wonderful of an opportunity this is to ease up on fishing and polluting our waters and feed a growing population (and many more benefits you can do some research on). However, the FDA is already moving to approve it, so why would supporters feel a need to write in?

      September 10, 2010 at 00:42 | Report abuse |
  5. jenngg

    Sick!! Just what we need- more franken food. No thanks, FDA! Your credibility is lessening every day.

    September 8, 2010 at 15:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • david

      FDA credibility? Surely you jest. They are a revolving door of ex-employees of Agribusiness and chemical companies like Monsanto.

      September 8, 2010 at 16:49 | Report abuse |
  6. Kenny

    The FDA is such a corrupted agency. The same agency who is monitoring and approving our food supplies which are getting people sick more then ever is the same agency who is approving our Drugs which are suppose to heal us but instead are getting people more dependant on these drugs and getting dide effects are occuring more than ever. They are getting pocket money from both food companies AND drug companies to look the other way. These companies are telling the FDA to just shut up and have your "Approved" stamp ready because the process of approval is definitely way faster than it had ever been. At the same time, there are more people getting ill or killed from these food/drugs than ever before. Doesn't ANYONE see a conflict of interest here?

    September 8, 2010 at 15:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Concerned

      The company supplying the food product should never be the one to endorse the product as being safe for consumers.

      September 8, 2010 at 15:13 | Report abuse |
    • ero

      There is a definite conflict of interest....but it's between Congress and these food lobbys. The FDA gets it's authority, and its budget, from Congress, and right now, they have none. In addition to lacking the proper authority and money they need to effectively regulate the market, they're so overloaded and fragmented that they've become extremely inefficient. The FDA needs a complete overhaul and Congress needs to stop caving in to the farm lobby.

      September 8, 2010 at 16:30 | Report abuse |
    • MrsFizzy

      And now they also regulate Tobacco, too...

      September 8, 2010 at 17:05 | Report abuse |
    • kat

      Part of the problem is the charter of the FDA! It's not what most people think it is. They really aren't tasked with ensuring the safety of our food and drugs. At the very least these things need to be marked on the label so we as consumers have a choice. GM foods aren't labeled here, yet.

      September 8, 2010 at 22:38 | Report abuse |
  7. El Gordo

    The fix is in. We'll be eating frankenfish for lunch. I am also sure that the FDA is permitting vendors of frankenfish to label their product as "Salmon" or "Pacific Salmon" so consumers won't discriminate against that corporation.

    A group of graduate students tested the DNA of supermarket fish and discovered that half of the packages contained a different species than what was on the label.

    The only safe food now would be canned goods left in Cold War bomb shelters.

    September 8, 2010 at 15:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. penny

    NO! we dont want it! quit injecting our food supply with all this junk! just because you can, doesnt mean you should. Label the packages and watch as it sits on the shelves. disgusting

    September 8, 2010 at 15:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MrsFizzy

      But...that would give you FREEDOM to choose ... and that could hurt profits because many people wouldn't want to buy it. Very odd that where our food supply is concerned, that is just not the American way!

      September 8, 2010 at 17:04 | Report abuse |
  9. vknuettel

    This is so frightening. I am fighting cancer and try to avoid the foods that are genetically modified and they are hard enough to identify. I had cut back on fish because of the mercury they now contain. How can the drug that causes the fish to grow in an abnormal way not affect our cells. I already have cells growing in an abnormal way. I don't need any more of that. We should spend more time/money ensuring that these foods are properly labeled. If they are so sure we won't mind, why don't they want us to know? If there really is no difference, fine....but what if there is?

    September 8, 2010 at 15:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MrsFizzy

      They will just say "Let's say there isn't", until you get reports of something really bad happening all over the country. That's usually the way.

      September 8, 2010 at 17:02 | Report abuse |
    • Brenda L.

      If it is no different, why do it? It doesn't exist as a natural fish. It should be, but will not be, labeled.

      September 8, 2010 at 17:59 | Report abuse |
  10. Sgrove

    One more reason not to trust the FDA. The FDA won't allow genetically modified foods to be labeled, as they do in Europe, so that you can make an informed choice. If it's safe, why won't they allow the label? Fish created in the laboratory? Are you kidding? The FDA is totally corrupt, and obviously does not have the best interests of the American people on their agenda. Another government agency working hard for big business, and putting our health at risk for money. Got Salmon?

    September 8, 2010 at 15:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. boocat

    I am not (knowingly) going to eat any genetically engineerd salmon or anything else for that matter. Anything the FDA says is okay, I'm going to avoid. Hell, I wouldn't even feed this stuff to my cat.

    September 8, 2010 at 16:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • david

      Smart move. Read "Seeds of Destruction" by William Engdahl. You won't want to eat anything that's GMO.

      September 8, 2010 at 16:47 | Report abuse |
    • MrsFizzy

      Then you'll have to eat all organic, and hope it isn't cross-contaminated by a GM crop!

      September 8, 2010 at 17:01 | Report abuse |
  12. Wallace

    The Dairy/Beef/Corn/Timber syndicates are what run this country. Th American people are a captive market...what do you think they built the railroads and interstaes for? Sad and unchangable.

    "We'll give the people what WE want, when WE decide."

    September 8, 2010 at 16:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Max

    I'd agree with the other folks who say the FDA is corrupt. This much is now painfully obvious, they do not have the interest of the people in mind, as it is the corporations they are in collusion with. There is a reason the FDA will never require mandatory labeling of GM foods – no one would willingly buy it; such a business would fail the instant it was introduced. So the game of the day at the FDA is "Deceit by omission".

    Sadly, It will be up to consumers to press the retailers and distribution channels for information as to the source of the Salmon to be sure it isn't coming from AquAdvantage Salmon.

    September 8, 2010 at 16:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Nick

    No thank you! You can taste the difference between wild alaskan salmon and atlantic farm raised. Wild salmon has that deep red color and tastes so much better. The farm raised stuff is sort of bland. So, now you can buy farm raised injected with hormones. Once again, no thanks.

    September 8, 2010 at 16:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bass-O-Matic

      I agree wholeheartedly with the taste issue, but what if someone only has access to and/or can afford farmed salmon?

      September 8, 2010 at 17:56 | Report abuse |
    • unretired05

      Yes, especially the wild Alaskan Salmon that is processed in China where they are really concerned with purity.

      September 9, 2010 at 00:38 | Report abuse |
    • Jacinda

      Genetic modification replaces the need for injections of growth hormones. This is a good thing. The taste difference is determined by the water the fish grow in, and their diets. Therefore, taste will be more influenced by WHERE it grew than HOW it grew.

      September 10, 2010 at 01:36 | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      Jacinda,

      Why do we need to inject growth hormones into anything? What is wrong with the way our food is grown already? Not enough food, perhaps, to feed all of the hungry? Well, with more food comes more people and more hungry.

      September 10, 2010 at 13:36 | Report abuse |
  15. MrsFizzy

    Umm, injecting growth hormone is not "genetic modification". I guess they thought it was too complicated to bother to explain! The FDA's approach is self-admittedly "The proof of the pudding is in the eating". What history do we have of people eating a fish that matures in half the time and grows to twice the size of a normal one?

    September 8, 2010 at 16:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Scooby

      I thought the same thing, and unlike the text, the video story says the salmon are modified with a growth hormone gene from another fish so that the growth hormone is produced in the salmon year-round instead of only "part of the year."

      September 8, 2010 at 17:54 | Report abuse |
    • unretired05

      At least the fish would have half the time to become tainted with mercury or another pollutant. The fish that live longer and are nearer the top of the food chain have higher levels of Mercury.

      September 9, 2010 at 00:44 | Report abuse |
  16. Kevin

    If you don't want to eat food that you feel may be contaminated then just don't buy it. Nothing prevents any of you fear mongers from setting up a garden and growing some nice safe organic produce. If you have the land you could even farm your own livestockj and fish. If you're unable to do any of that then start reading your food labels and stop buying products that you object to. BTW, every vegetable, fruit, nut, creal grain, and piece of meat that you've ever consumed was "genetically modified" through decades of selective breeding. Grow up and stop whining.

    September 8, 2010 at 17:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MrsFizzy

      But they can't even avoid it by reading food labels. Traditional selective breeding is not genetic modification and you know it. From FDA's website describing some GE goats which were bred: .."scientists spliced a mammary-specific promoter to the gene of interest—one that contains instructions to make a human protein called antithrombin III, and introduced it into goat early embryos. They then check the resulting goats to see which ones express that protein in their milk, and breed a line of goats that can pass that gene on to their offspring. The females of that herd are used to produce the human pharmaceutical in their milk." Pefectly normal selective breeding!

      September 8, 2010 at 17:15 | Report abuse |
    • Sasha

      Name calling not really "grown up" behavior. Here's a question for you: if it is a simple matter of "growing up", why do countries such as Canada and all countries in Europe prohibit GMO's? There is a big difference between "selective breeding and altering the DNA. Besides, reading the label does NOT provide this information. All products that contain soy and corn are GMO's, but you'll never see that on a label.
      The FDA is a joke and the American People are used as lab rats. Not so much a fear mongering issue as a reality. We are expected to make decisions without any information. Hell, why will they approve food as save for consumption WITHOUT any knowledge as to whether or not it actually is? Money, plain and simple.

      September 8, 2010 at 17:22 | Report abuse |
    • MrsFizzy

      The biggest difference in Europe is that they HAVE to be labelled, even if just a tiny trace is present in an ingredient of a food. So the customer has the choice in what they buy. Therefore, it's as good as "banned"! And I thought we Americans were the ones who wanted freedom of choice & didn't like to be told what to do / eat!

      September 8, 2010 at 17:37 | Report abuse |
    • MrsFizzy

      In other words...they treat their citizens / consumers like Grown-Ups!!!

      September 8, 2010 at 17:39 | Report abuse |
    • Brenda L.

      Selective breeding is not genetically modifying by inserting foreign genetic material into the DNA. Guess you must be one of the spin doctors

      September 8, 2010 at 18:04 | Report abuse |
  17. Chryss

    NO NO NO NO. This is not okay. This benefits private business, endangers our entire food chain, and will NOT allow the consumer to "opt out." NO NO NO NO NO.

    September 8, 2010 at 17:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. vince

    I supposed it would be ok if there were BIG labels on it that it's genetically enhanced – instead of trying to hide it in the labeling. Let consumers decide. If enough people don't purchase it then they toss it out as a bad idea. Where the problem comes in is when the manufactures and FDA get together and decide that consumers don't need that information - like whether the beef has been tested for mad cow disease prior to slaughter. Transparency is key.

    September 8, 2010 at 17:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Sasha

    I go out of my way to not consume milk or milk products that contain growth hormones; I certainly will not eat salmon with it. I cannot believe this agency.

    September 8, 2010 at 17:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. MrsFizzy

    I encourage anyone to watch the video as the article is so un-informative and misleading. This is not a normal salmon with growth hormone injected (bad enough!) Also, from NPR transcript of All Things Considered: Prof. KAPUSCINSKI: The company that's developed these fish has inserted two genes. One gene is for growth hormone, and it's almost identical to the growth hormone gene that's already in these salmon.

    And then the other gene acts like a little switch. It's a piece of DNA that comes from another fish, from the ocean pout, and it's normally connected to the gene that produces antifreeze protein in that fish.

    In the case of these salmon, they've just taken the part of the DNA that acts like a switch, and that switch turns on the gene that produces the growth hormone so that the salmon will produce growth hormone in its tissues throughout the year, whereas a conventional salmon only produces growth hormone during the warmer times of the year, when the water temperatures are warmer.

    Anyone remember that commercial whose tag-line was "You can't fool Mother Nature"?

    September 8, 2010 at 17:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. tiffany

    It's simple, just don't purchase the mutant salmon and they won't make money

    September 8, 2010 at 17:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MrsFizzy

      That is why they'll try all they can to block it being labelled so you know whether it is mutant salmon or not!

      September 8, 2010 at 17:44 | Report abuse |
    • Babak from Los Angels

      I like to agree but how would we even know?

      September 8, 2010 at 19:19 | Report abuse |
  22. Ol' Masshole

    Never too late to stop eating fish. This should make the beef industry happy.

    September 8, 2010 at 18:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Castmom

    oh great.....frankenfish.....anyone know what FDA REALLY stands for???? fools, dopes and a*holes. great decision...and in 20 years we will wonder just why cancer rates have once again shot up!

    September 8, 2010 at 18:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Babak from Los Angels

    I don't care who approves it, who labes it, who ..whatever; In my home we eat food that does not come from a laboratory. I remember getting pissed off when I found out 100% real orange juice ... is really not!

    September 8, 2010 at 19:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Ellen McCoy

    And we wonder why 8 year old girls are going through puberty! Young boy getting breasts. I am lucky enough to know where my meat is raised ( by nephews and brothers-in-law) lamb and hog . I get eggs from free ranging chickens that my sister-in-law keeps. I get non homogenized milk from an uncle. We plant a summer garden and can vegetables. We only eat fish that my husband catches and yes one deer during hunting season. We live in wild wonderful West Virginia and no we are not hillbillies. My husband graduated Northeastern University and I am from Boston and attended West Virginia University. If you have to pay more for organic, isn't it what is best for you?

    September 8, 2010 at 19:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Zoe

    This is so wrong. The FDA's standards are already pitifully low and now this? It would be one thing if they were engineering HEALTHY salmon, but they're specifically engineering them to be physically retarded! These are animals, live, sentient beings and you're condemning them to a short life of pain and physical retardation. I understand they are also eaten as food, but would you want to eat retarded salmon?!?!

    When they talk about genetically modified chickens without heads people are all flipped out but if they're "engineered" to grow to full size in six weeks and have bodies too heavy to support their organs THAT's okay. What do you think native americans would think of fishing an animals nearly into extinction and then adding the extra indignity of genetically modifying them to live painfull lives in sick bodies? Do you need to eat retarded fish THAT bad? Even if it tastes like shit? Even if its full of mercury? I'm not against stem cell research or even genetic modification, but what if they found out they could make energy out of genetically engineered downs syndrome babies? Would that be okay, too? As long as they came from a test tube? People need to get their priorities straight. Its one thing to genetically engineer stem cells to create livers and kidneys, its even okay to engineer food in a pinch, but its not okay to intentional create retarded and low grade versions of their ancestors and pass them off as food. No wonder everyone is fat and depressed and our children all have autism...

    September 8, 2010 at 19:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Jeff Corr

    I will never knowingly eat modified foods. Just thought I'd vote on this. As it is, I also stay away from cell phones and other sources of radiation and cancer causing stuff. But in any case, good luck to all of us.

    September 8, 2010 at 20:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Sad at this mess

    If there are escapes, which there will be, how do we hold this company accountable. If the risk is to release a variety of salmon that will out-compete the native stock, then we are threatening an already threatened species. What is the price of total extinction? And how will we hold AquaAdvantage accountable?

    September 8, 2010 at 21:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Anna

    For those of you that agree this is absurd go to sign a petition to at least TRY to stop it from happening: http://action.freshthemovie.com/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=4050

    September 8, 2010 at 21:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Oliver

    After reading some of the comments, it's nice to see that so many Americans are aware of how corrupt the FDA is, and how utterly ridiculously their tactics to keep us "safe" really are. The FDA probably won't make them label the fish, and consequently I'll be forced to stop eating one of my favorite foods. Hopefully, the intelligent, caring people in this country can get together and stop this.

    September 8, 2010 at 21:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Lynn

    Great.... Now I can't eat salmon anymore either. The list keeps growing and growing.

    September 8, 2010 at 21:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Tyler

    If you don't want to eat genetically altered salmon then don't buy it... no reason to keep anyone from selling it.

    September 8, 2010 at 22:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Nancy

    The FDA & USDA are totally worthless. They don't care about the consumer. Do you really think they are going to eat it?

    September 9, 2010 at 01:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Nitrogen

      Only uneducated morons make such preposterous remarks. All food we eat is GM. Take a biology class.

      September 9, 2010 at 04:54 | Report abuse |
  34. Jacinda

    No growth hormones are injected here. It's more exact, safe and humane than selective breeding, partially because the genetic modification is done at the embryonic level. They are normal sized salmon, just getting there faster because of the full growth year and extra growth gene. They're all female, all sterile and only to be grown in land based farms to prevent any possible food chain effects. Land based farms are cleaner and less diseased because they can prefilter the water of harmful bacteria occurring naturally in the oceans. This is also a VERY small company, working on this for 10 years plus. American salmon farmers can finally have a chance to compete with Chile, who dumps what ever it wants in the water to make their salmon grow and survive diseased sea tanks. There are less than a handful of American salmon farmers currently because, until now, there has been no way to compete with Chile. The FDA has been working on this for literally years and is taking it very seriously, hence the 200 page report they just released of their findings, and promoting a three day public hearing. It's easy for the media to spin this for a good scare, which equals a quick buck... much more money than this little salmon company will ever see. Please see this with open minds and open hearts. This is a real opportunity for a much better way to feed our growing population without having to inject drugs in our food, rely on other countries who can do it cheaper, over fish our waters, and pollute our oceans. If you care about our Earth, our people; really try to understand the whole truth before you let yourselves be swayed by the mainstream media.

    September 9, 2010 at 02:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Jacinda

    Oh, and I would love to see it labeled, but that's a larger issue that I think we need to address for all of our food. The FDA shouldn't change food labeling regulations specifically for this. I don't even think that they can. It needs to be addresses separately and as a whole.

    September 9, 2010 at 02:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Nitrogen

    Go Science! There is nothing wrong with GM foods. They moved a gene from one fish to another. That means DNA, which is all the same chemicals (GATC), ordered specifically to make a protein that exists naturally in another fish, was placed in salmon so that we can farm more of them in less time, so fewer natural salmon have to be fished, so natural salmon get to live. Would you rather fish real salmon to extinction or eat salmon whose purpose is to feed us?

    September 9, 2010 at 04:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • PC

      Amen! Finally, some reason here. If the anti-biotech lot had even a passing knowledge of genetics, they'd either starve, or quit worrying. Every time the subject of GMOs comes up, I'm amazed at how many people know so little about genetic engineering, but still think they're qualified to tell thousands upon thousands of zoologists, horticulturists, botanists, microbiologists, biochemists, geneticists, and farmers, all over the world, that they're wrong. I just don't get this knee-jerk reaction, filled with word like 'Frankenfood.' Some points:First, I've seen no evidence that this fish is harmful to human health, besides what (at the moment) appears to be the typical anti-GMO dishonesty. And yet, people with still claim that it's dangerous, just like they do with every GE crop on the market. Second, it only benefits the people who raise them....so? What, fish farmers aren't allowed to make a decent living anymore? That's just like they hypocrites who claim they want to help farmers, then try to take away the farmers' right to GMO seed. Third, mandatory labeling, fine, just prove it's dangerous, with actual science. Forcing products to be labeled as GMO is like forcing certain products to say they 'Warning: Contains Polysaccharides.' True, yeah, but all you're going to do is scare people (is that dangerous?), and everyone knows it. That's nothing but cheap scare tactics, and I don't see the ethical high ground for demanding it without probable cause. I mean, we don't have mandatory labeling for things as Kosher or Halal, even though plenty of people would find that useful, but those poeple have to do their own research, not make other people do it for them.

      And I just love how everyone assumes the FDA is corrupt every time something like this comes up. Without the FDA, then what, they just sell it with no testing? Listen, I'm sorry if you've bought into that anti-GE stuff, but it's nonsense, magical thinking, a naturalistic fallacy, and not a very good one either. We've been selecting for mutations involving far more genes than were altered here for thousands of years (think about corn genetics, how many massive mutations it must have took to get modern corn), and the odds are everything has DNA from foreign sources (fun fact: human DNA is at least 3% virus). And don't get mad at me, I can almost hear someone spinning up a conspiracy right now (How many billions is this small company paying you to say that?!), no no, get mad at the liars and fearmongers who misled you. We've been eating GMOs for years, it's high time we get over this fear. They're safe, they're useful, there is no scientific (key word) controversy over them, and we need them for a sustainable future. This opposition to them is just silliness at this point. Heck, some people still want you to think that GloFish are dangerous. As Carl Sagan said 'We have designed our civilization based on science and technology and at the same time arranged things so that almost no one understands anything at all about science and technology. This is a clear prescription for disaster.'

      September 9, 2010 at 05:41 | Report abuse |
    • GE

      Go Nitrogen and PC! Finally some sense. Do all you other people not realize that about every commodity you eat is GE? Most vegetables, everything that eats vegetables, everything made from those vegetables...almost everything in the supermarkets. And guess what...there isn't anything wrong with it! GE is only taking something that is naturally occuring and moving it to another item that is naturally occuring to change how it grows. I think you all are scared of what you don't know and just take other's opinions as fact...do some research on your own!

      September 9, 2010 at 08:34 | Report abuse |
    • Jacinda

      Here here! I am so excited to finally, hopefully, see farmed salmon raised in the UNITED STATES on my grocer's shelf! This is just one step closer to the US being able to compete with Chile who can dump all the hormones and antibiotics it wants into its filthy sea tanks. Plus, we can ease up on the ocean and river fishing. We all keep living longer, more productive lives than the organic, free-range eating cave men ever did!... and this all despite having consumed GM foods every day for a hundred years now. When you understand how GM works, its really not scary at all.

      September 9, 2010 at 10:14 | Report abuse |
    • NotPC

      This thread looks like a plant from the GMO Lobby. Just wait until they "accidentally" let some of these things escape captivity. The resulting contamination of natural salmon will mean that the Corporations will own ALL salmon, (see what Monsanto has done for seeds).

      America needs to wake up to the uncontrolled power these Corporations force-feed the public!

      September 9, 2010 at 13:00 | Report abuse |
    • Jacinda

      I can't see how this little company can have much of a "lobby." Have you read up on them? They're tiny. If they had any money for such things, they would likely be running informative campaigns. Alas, they must rely on people's desire to learn. Not so easy. Besides, perhaps you missed the part about the salmon being all female and sterile. No chance of escapees causing problems. In addition, they will only be grown in land based farms, and as we all know, salmon can't survive in warm water, so that adds another layer of protection. The safety measures go on and on. I'm firing up the grill!

      September 10, 2010 at 00:10 | Report abuse |
  37. JD

    for money some people would sell their soul leave the fishes alone.why they dont inject their food?

    September 9, 2010 at 07:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Dr Bill Toth

    Farm salmon are already genetically modified because they're fed genetically modified corn. This is the same FDA that voted NOT to label food as "genetically modified or engineered" because it "might scare the public and make them not buy it".
    Live With Intention,
    DrBillToth.com/blog

    September 9, 2010 at 07:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. HPN

    The one good thing I like about this possible trend is this could help reduce the raping of our oceans and streams, which are being depleted at an alarming rate.

    September 9, 2010 at 08:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. uberval

    I say we kidnap all those decision makers from the FDA, line them up and shoot them before they start injecting the fish with cancer causing hormones.

    September 9, 2010 at 09:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jacinda

      No hormones are being injected here. They are genetically modified, which is very different and, to the contrary, serves to replace the need to use growth hormones. The New York Times ran an informative article about it last month. Check it out.

      September 9, 2010 at 09:59 | Report abuse |
    • NotPC

      Kidnapping and shooting are illegal, however tempting it may be.

      Maybe we should just inject them with a bunch of new genes.

      September 9, 2010 at 13:11 | Report abuse |
    • Jacinda

      They would probably welcome some genes for a full head of hair, tall stature and extra brain smarts without having to go through surgery or take drugs to get it.

      September 10, 2010 at 00:52 | Report abuse |
  41. Gen Putnam

    I absolutely refuse to support "Frankenfood." We just can't leave Mother Nature alone, can we?! The "experts" have no real idea of the longterm effects, both for the planet and our health, of GMO foods. And, if all of this is so great, why are they resisting food labeling to indicate GMO ingredients? My vote is NO on genetically engineered salmon.

    September 9, 2010 at 09:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jacinda

      Long-term effects are none. We've already been doing it for hundreds of years. And no one seems to be against the labeling for any reason other than the fact that there currently is no law requiring our food to be labeled "genetically modified," which would be almost everything on the shelf, even the "organic" specialties. The labeling argument you hear in the news is merely a distraction issue that strategically embeds fear of the GM salmon, raises false alert to those pushing the issue, which happen to be environmentalist groups, who in truth know that this is a more environmentally friendly way to feed people, but need the free PR for fundraising.

      September 9, 2010 at 10:25 | Report abuse |
  42. Esther

    I'll pass on GMO SALMON!!! No proper testing on safety for humans- as usual. Why anyone would choose to eat this stuff is beyond me.

    September 9, 2010 at 09:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Jorge

    The FDA upper management will rubber stamp or shoot down anything as long as it suits their political and corporate interest masters. I trust the FDA about as far as I can throw it.

    September 9, 2010 at 09:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Jessica

    I really thank the founding fathers for making prominent in origination of this nation, WE THE PEOPLE. What's sad, is that the powerful businesses and corrupt politicians doing their bidding...are smart enough to dumb down the masses to the point in which they are indifferent, so long as everything is cheaper & faster. Thank You FELLOW AMERICANS for supporting the degradation of our educational system. We continue to spend trillions on pointless wars, while slashing our educational budgets. PRIORITIES I GUESS.

    September 9, 2010 at 10:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. AbiWeb

    Hormone injected food does not always speed the growth of young women, it can be genetic too. My sister and several of my cousins developed early, but so did my mom, my grandmother, and my great grandmother.

    I agree that our food should be labled and I don't agree that hormone injected salmon is the way to go, but to be honest...I'd eat it if it was cheaper. Food is rediculously expensive and it makes eating organic difficult, if we can get more people to eat cost effective "healthy" food, like salmon then maybe we can cut down on obesity in our Nation.

    This process may also help with conservation efforts in maintaining a wild population of salmon (and possibly other animals if this becomes the norm), which in a few years can rebound naturally. Best case scenario? We help keep our oceans plentiful, bears have something to eat during the spawning season, which will then eat berries during the rest of the year, whose seeds will be dispersed with a nice helping of fertilizer, which then go on to reproduce to ensure diversity of plant life and the herbivors that we eat will in turn be healthier and more pleantiful. And thus the cycle is restored! So maybe the MAN isn't so bad afterall...that is if this is to be relatively short term and the efforts for restoration are backed up 🙂

    September 9, 2010 at 11:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jacinda

      It is not possible to inherit a gene by eating it. Human genetic inheritance requires breeding. Therefore, it is not possible for a child who eats a fish's gene to begin to display qualities of the fish. Imagine if we all began to grow gills and lay eggs just because we ate fish and their genes. Growth genes are natural for all plants and animals. It's just a gene. And GM salmon is a welcomed improvement over the use of growth hormones.

      September 10, 2010 at 01:07 | Report abuse |
  46. AbiWeb

    Just a comment on what's-his/her-face's rant on "traditional" breeding is not genetic modification...it is! You are taking genes from two different plants and combining them in a favorable way to make a new hybrid plant. And news flash! you are not 100% human either, most of your cells are bacterial or viral, or even a combination of other animals. Only 10% of your cells, the ones that make up your entire body, are "human."

    For example, your mitochondrial cells are purely bacterial and have modified over a long period of association with your body. The mitochondrial cells are within every cell in your body, they are the "power house" cells that create the body heat that keeps you alive. They have completely separate genomes from your primary genome, and self regulate reproduction. A.K.A your body doesn't tell mitochondria what to do, it just does it if it feels like it.

    So don't go spouting bull about traditional breeding not being genetic modification, when it clearly is, and so are you, your whole being is the result of thousands of years of genetic modification. Science is just helping it along, which I personally don't like, but get your facts straight and take a science class or two.

    September 9, 2010 at 11:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. The Spa

    And we wonder why autoimmune diseases are rampant????????

    September 9, 2010 at 13:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Max

    LOL at the GMO plants above, probably AquAdvantage Salmon employees.

    September 9, 2010 at 16:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jacinda

      Aqua Bounty is the company. AquaAdvantage is the product. And I hope they ARE chiming in here as they are the only ones who have the technical facts about the salmon besides the FDA. Wouldn't you WANT to know both sides of the story?

      September 10, 2010 at 01:20 | Report abuse |
  49. sajwife

    Growth hormone was administered to sheep and cattle some years ago, causing deformities in the animals. These animals probably produced adequate amounts and the added GH caused the deformity, much like Acromegaly in humans. I've been on growth hormone for 16 years, due to a brain tumor and radiation. I could not function without. Guess what, I'm aging right along with everyone else of my generation and I'm not thin. For those of you interested in using it as a diet aid, think again. GH has allowed me to age and in decent health. It has allowed me to function normally. The normal body (like the salmon) produces the GH you need. I take less than half the dose of when I started, because the body doesn't need so much as we get older. When people use the GH for purposes other than medical, they put the children and adults who depend on GH at risk. There are well over 500 pediatric health issues that require GH. AIDS patients use it to gain back muscle strength and get out of their wheelchairs. Insurance company 'junior' agents make the lives of many deserving patients a true misery. They don't know enough about GH. Heck, many endocrinologists don't know much about it. Patients battle every day for wellness and we have to listen to people complain that they need it to stay young. Pooh.

    September 9, 2010 at 18:58 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jacinda

      Luckily, genetically modified salmon replaces the need to use growth hormones when farming them. Yay science!

      September 10, 2010 at 01:25 | Report abuse |
  50. Mark

    Here is the purpose of the Veterinary Medicine Advisory Committee:

    "The Veterinary Medicine Advisory Committee (VMAC or the Committee) advises the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (the Commissioner) in discharging their responsibilities as they relate to assuring safe and effective drugs, feeds and feed additives, and devices for animal use, and, as required, any other product for which the Food and Drug Administration has regulatory responsibility. The Committee reviews and evaluates available data concerning the safety and effectiveness of marketed and investigational new animal drugs, feeds, and devices for use in the treatment and prevention of animal diseases and increased animal production, and makes appropriate recommendations to the Commissioner regarding scientific issues and regulatory policies."

    I guess we are just animals (which we are) now, with engineered salmon being the latest "feed" (but I prefer to use 'food' over 'feed' for my meals).

    AquaBounty Technologies is also working on genetically engineered trout and tilapia as well.
    As far as labeling this feed product, AquaBounty Technologies is "ok" with producers labeling their product as modified... but really.... what producer will label their product with something that no one would want, if they knew?

    Write to Aleta.Sindelar[at]fda.hhs.gov to let FDA know what your thoughts are on this new feed product.

    September 10, 2010 at 13:33 | Report abuse | Reply
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