Frankenfish Take Action Page
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is leaning towards approving a genetically engineered salmon to be sold and consumed by the American public. The frankenfish, created by the biotechnology corporation AquaBounty Technologies, combines an Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) egg with a gene construct (termed opAFP-GHc2) that contains a promoter and termination region from the ocean pout (Zoarces americanus) antifreeze gene and a growth hormone gene from Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha).
If the FDA approves this frankenfish it will become the first commercially available genetically modified animal for consumers. And there are presently no laws requiring that this “fish” be labeled as what it is – a genetically modified organism.
The FDA does not do its own testing of genetically engineered animals: it relies on information provided by the company that wants approval, in this case that’s Aquabounty Technologies. 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. Farmed salmon raised in crowded factory fish farms are already pose innumerable concerns for human health, and the risks of GE salmon being added to the mix is unknown.
GE salmon is not only dangerous to human health, but it’s extremely dangerous for wild salmon populations and the environment. If GE salmon is put into production it will be farmed just like regular farmed salmon, which releases antibiotics, pesticides, and escaped low genetic diversity Atlantic salmon into the ocean and wild Pacific salmon habitat. Even worse is that GE salmon grows 33% faster than non-GE farmed salmon and consumes 5 times as much food, which increases the burden on smaller wild fish that are harvested to feed farmed fish.