Genes are all the rage these days, and genetic engineering is one of the newest fascinations in the gene realm. First, Doogie the mouse through genetic engineering had an increased IQ compared to his inferior counterparts. Over zealous parents eagerly await the day they can design their perfect baby. Finally little Sally will have the perfect eye and hair color combination, astounding athletic prowess, and remarkable skills in the classroom. Let’s not forget that many of the tomatoes on the shelves in our supermarkets are of the Doogie variety. Luckily, fish connoisseurs need not wait any longer. The Doogie salmon has arrived on the scene, and the FDA and consumers are talking about it. AquaBounty Technology has genetically engineered salmon to grow twice as fast, and they insist that the salmon is safe for both consumers and the environment. While 78% of adults surveyed said they would not consume the engineered salmon, the producers insist if “grown” properly, it is totally safe and practically like the regular fish. Of course, “grown” properly refers to raising it in water-filled pens on land.
We are constantly inundated with information that makes genes seem omnipotent. Interestingly, the second you start altering nature, people freak out before knowing the implications of the genetic engineering. Many questions remain, including: is the salmon safe to consume liberally? What are the implications on the food chain? We will just have to wait and see.
Check out the whole article from NPR here: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2010/09/21/130015372/a-fishy-question-about-genetically-engineered-salmon