Genetically modified organisms, known as GMO’s, have saturated the modern Western diet. While we commonly think of corn or tomatoes, genetically modified salmon is the latest product to undergo modification. What’s scarier is the FDA’s (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) lack of safeguards or labelling of this human-manipulated food.
Salmon will be the first transgenic animal to enter the human food supply. While some say “it’s about time,” others have raised some serious and valid concerns for people’s health, environment drawbacks, and ecological complications.
The Dangers and Drawbacks of GMO Salmon
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While the FDA claims that the GMO salmon is equally as nutritious as its fresh, wild-caught counterpart, farmed fish has consistently proven to the much less nutritionally dense and economically disastrous.
The Nutritional Face-Off
- Wild salmon is lower in calories, with half the fat of farmed salmon.
- Wild-caught salmon is higher in calcium, iron, potassium and proteins.
- The healthy omega-3 fatty acids found in farm-raised salmon are not high quality.
- Farmed fish come with contaminants, like pesticides (polychlorinated biphenyls, a cancer-causing pesticide is 16 times higher in farmed salmon compared to wild).
The Environmental Face-Off
- Farmed fish raised in fish tanks in warehouses on land have raised concern among environmental groups for its ecological footprint
- Farmed fish, if able to escape to the wild, could disrupt natural ecosystems (this fear isn’t unfounded, in the past millions of farm-raised salmon have escaped into the open water)
The FDA’s Relaxed Labeling Protocols
Dangerously, even if you’ve done your research and are painfully aware of the hazards of consuming GMO salmon, you may purchase it unknowingly and unwillingly. The FDA has announced that they will allow GMO dish to be sold without any label – similar current protocols allowing GMO crops to go unlabeled. What does this mean? Farmed fish have added yet another stressor and impediment to feeding yourself and family food free of unwanted chemicals and pesticides.
As a matter of fact, nearly a dozen of fishing and environmental groups have filed suits against the FDA to block its recent approval of GMO salmon. This is not uncommon, with an ongoing and heated debate over GMOs and labeling as a whole. The biggest caveat? The FDA has gone ahead with their labeling protocols despite over 2 million objections, raising serious suspicions on the FDAs morals and agenda.
What to Do About It?
The biggest action you can take toward reducing unwanted genetically-modified fish in your diet is to, quite simply, avoid farmed fish altogether. While the FDA doesn’t require companies to label GMO fish, they are by law required to label the fish as “farmed.” Therefore, the only way to avoid GMOs is to purchase wild-caught varieties exclusively.
But why stop there…
Due to customer dissatisfaction, many grocery stores have reported that they will not sell GMO salmon. Make your voice heard and raise your concerns to your local grocer about the dangers of GMO salmon and your opposition on the matter. Remember, you vote with your dollar! Make it count.
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