Why I Can Never Eat Salmon Again and You Might Not Want To Either
In a first for the Food & Drug Administration, they’ve delayed final approval of a food product. The food in question? The AquAdvantage Atlantic Salmon, the first genetically engineered animal designed for human consumption. And of all the species to play with in scientific laboratories, the beloved salmon, consumed by millions of Americans for its “good fats,” gets to be the chosen one.
Known for its high level of omega-3s, salmon is touted as an essential for collagen repair and has been viewed as a top healthy food choice, when compared to other fishes. But that might all change.
Officially known as ”AquAdvantage salmon” (named after the company that created it, Boston-based Aqua Bounty Technologies) but often referred to as “Frankenfish,” this genetically engineered Atlantic salmon contains genes from the Chinook salmon (its growth hormone) and anti-freeze dna from an eel-like creature known as the ocean pout.
The spliced genes were specifically chosen because they have the capability to produce growth hormones regularly, which means that the AquAdvantage salmon grows bigger and faster than its natural counterparts. Specifically, it will become mature and can hit store shelves within 18 months. Typically, salmon achieves maturation at the three-year mark.
Aqua Bounty Technologies’ salmon has been trying to get their salmon species approved for U.S. consumption for 14 years. They plan to hatch the eggs on Canada’s Prince Edward Island, and then grow the fish in Panama, the two places they have been developing the eggs and monitoring their offspring over the past decade. Neither facilities are under U.S. jurisdiction and nor are they accountable to standard USDA regulations.