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Sacred Truth Ep. 52: Genetically Engineered Salmon

Protect Wild Salmon: Fight Genetically-Grown Artificial Monster

I love wild salmon. I always have. It’s not only delicious, but full of the best quality natural Omega 3 oils in an ideal ratio of 6 to 9 parts of Omega 3 to 1 part of Omega 6. Because 95% of our cell membranes contain fat, without adequate Omega 3 fats cells cannot function properly. The terrible news is this: our beautiful wild salmon may already be on the way to becoming little more than an ancient memory. Let me explain.

The US Food and Drug Administration is notorious, under pressure from the corporate powers-that-be, for approving human consumption drugs, foods, and other questionable products which should never be allowed on the market. Whether from ignorance or stupidity—one can never be sure which, the FDA has recently outdone themselves. They’ve approved, for human consumption, a hideous, genetically grown, artificial giant salmon.

This fish is an artificially concocted creature created by AquaBounty Technologies from a combination of Chinook salmon, from which a hormone-regulating gene has been extracted together with a gene from the ocean pout, plus genes and growth promoters from other fish. This man-made monster has been designed to grow at twice the rate of other fish. The size of this fish is gigantic compared with natural wild salmon. It can grow to 24 inches long and weigh 6.6 pounds instead of the much smaller wild salmon, which are about 13 inches long and 2.8 pounds in weight. This hideous creation is expected to appear in supermarkets in the United States and elsewhere within the next two years. I wouldn't touch such a creature if my life depended upon it.

The FDA failed to consult wildlife agencies—something they are required by federal law to do. US Atlantic salmon as well as populations of Pacific salmon are protected by the Endangered Species Act. The FDA’s refusal to do this before giving permission for these genetically engineered monsters to become commercialized is not only irresponsible but also in strict violation of the law.

At the moment a broad coalition of organizations are in the process of suing the US Food and Drug Administration for approving the first-ever genetically engineered animal. The FDA also chose to ignore complaints from some 2 million people opposing what they chose to approve.

But nothing quite as potentially destructive as the GE salmon has appeared on the scene before. “Once they escape into the surrounding waters in which they are raised—and happens all the time even to conventional farmed fish— as salmon fisherman and representative for the Center for Biological Diversity in Alaska Dune Lankard says. “They’re manufactured to outgrow wild salmon, and if they cross-breed, it could have irreversible impacts on the natural world. This kind of dangerous tinkering could easily morph into a disaster for wild salmon that will be impossible to undo.”

This ghastly new GE salmon is now destined to undertake its 5,000-mile journey to appear in US supermarkets in less than two years. As Dana Perls, food and technology campaigner for Friends of the Earth, says, “Major retailers, including Costco, Safeway, and Kroger won’t sell it, and polls show the vast majority of people don’t want to eat it. Yet under this approval it won’t be labeled, violating our fundamental right to know what we are feeding our families.” Let’s hope, for the health of our children, that these lawsuits are successful. The world we live it is becoming frighteningly destructive to ourselves, our animal friends and the earth itself. I believe it is vital that we all be come aware of this and protect our planet as much as humanly possible