I will preface what I am about to say with this: I know next to nothing about genetic engineering. Let me rephrase that; I know nothing about genetic engineering. So, when I say that I think that genetically engineered food seems like a very bad idea to me, it’s just a hunch.
Messing with Mother Nature rarely seems like a good idea to me. So, when I hear the news that the Food and Drug Administration is considering the approval of the first genetically engineered animal-based food for consumption, it worries me a little.
The idea is to genetically engineer salmon, which could grow twice as fast as natural fish. They won’t be larger than normal according to the company behind it all, AquaBounty Technologies. The benefit of faster growing salmon, according to AquaBounty, is that it could make more food with less resources.
AquaBounty Technologies has been trying to get approval for its engineered fish for 10 years. Now the FDA appears to be satisfied that it got enough data to analyze the fish’s safety.
Ronald L. Stotish, the chief executive of AquaBounty Technologies, says that even if they get approval, it would take at least two years to see the salmon in your local supermarkets.
While, I am green and skeptical, there may be benefits to genetically engineered animals. For instance, cows could be engineered to resist mad cow disease, and pork could be engineered for leaner bacon.
June 29th, 2010