America is no stranger to genetically engineered food. With over 20 years of experience in the business, the U.S has perfected their craft of selling genetically modified fruits and vegetables to the public.
Being a country that firmly believes in the concept of “bigger being better”, we’ve outdone ourselves with the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) recent approval of genetically modified salmon for consumption.
Labeled as “frankenfish” by many skeptics, the AquaAdvantage Salmon has become the first genetically engineered food animal approved for sale in our food market. Growing twice as fast as regular salmon and requiring less food, the AquaAdvantage Salmon is said to hit the market in two years. Engineered by AquaBounty Technologies, the new salmon uniquely combines the genes of three existing aquatic animals: the Atlantic salmon (which serves as the base of the genes), the Chinook salmon (which accommodates for its rapid growth/size) and the eel (which allows year around production).
Critics worry about the potential health risk of GMO’s simply because they’re so new, but the FDA states, “The AquaAdvantage Atlantic salmon is just as safe and nutritious as other salmon.” In fact AquaBounty has taken several safety precautions to prevent cross-breeding with wild fish, some being only producing sterile female fish and raising the fish in land tanks in Panama (eggs are provided by Canada if you’re wondering).
Now I’m sure you’re reading this thinking, “Okay, I simply won’t be eating this new salmon”, but therein lays the problem, there is no legal requirement for companies to the label the fish as a GMO. In fact AquaBounty says, “genetically modified salmon have the same flavor, texture, color and odor as the conventional fish.” So how do you know if you’re buying the AquaAdvantage Salmon or eating it at a restaurant? Truth is you don’t.
Now some retailers -Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Target and Kroger – said that they wouldn’t sell the AquaAdvantage Salmon, but those companies are only small potions of the grocery retailers in our communities. So how can we ensure that we aren’t eating the newly approved salmon? Well, it’s quiet simple; strictly buy salmon labeled “wild-caught”(Or cut seafood out of your diet). Matter of fact, while you’re at it don’t stop at salmon, read your labels and ensure that all of your seafood purchased is labeled “wild-caught”, anything else is farm raised. Now if you’re asking what’s the difference between the two, I can cover the topic is a later post, but instead I encourage you to research the difference in your own time. Don’t just go by what I tell you; always be sure to research my post for yourselves to assure that I’m telling you the truth.
Remember it’s not hard to eat healthy in our society today. You simply have to educate yourself on nutrition and the source of where our food comes from. Don’t fall into the trap of eating everything that is offered to you and/or sold in stores. Read labels and do your own research. Know that the key to your health lies in what you eat.