Tuesday, September 14, 2010
By Paul Martin

By NWV News writer Jim Kouri
September 14, 2010

President Barack Obama’s health officials will soon decide whether genetically engineered fishes are safe to eat. The fish, a creation of Aqua Bounty Technologies Inc scientists, is engineered to grow almost twice as fast as traditional fish such as salmon.

The Obama administration believes this development will help the environment while increasing the food supply and costs.

However, consumer advocacy groups and food safety experts fear that manipulating fish genes may have the opposite effect and the side effects of human consumption of altered fish are still a mystery with no scientific data existing to show it is safe the seafood will be.

The Food and Drug Administration is planning a three-day conference on September 19, 2010 to discuss whether the agency should or shouldn’t approve the salmon. However, opponents complain that the Obama administration is operating in secrecy to push the introduction of a genetically-altered food supply.

As it moves to approve the first genetically engineered animal for human consumption, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is evaluating the product as a veterinary drug to avoid public disclosure of the process.

Without question, the advent of genetically altered fish marks a milestone in the history of food. Nearly every other food group, from meat to vegetables to fruit, has been cross-bred almost beyond recognition after millennia of human agriculture. Fish, by contrast, are mostly harvested from the wild, shaped only by the forces of evolution, according to the Organic Consumers Association, a non-profit, non-partisan organization.

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