Tags: gmo | salmon | food | farm raised | ocean

GMO Salmon Begins Growing in Indiana: 'It's Unnatural'

fresh salmon sits on a seafood stand
(Elaine Thompson/AP)

By    |   Thursday, 30 May 2019 08:46 PM

Americans are poised to eat their first genetically modified animal sometime near the end of 2020: farm-raised Atlantic salmon that grows twice as fast as the typical Atlantic salmon.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Massachusetts company AquaBounty Technologies operates a fish hatchery in Albany, Indiana. This week, the company took delivery of some bioengineered Atlantic salmon eggs that were created to grow to 10-pound fish in 16 to 18 months — far quicker than the average of 32 months for wild Atlantic salmon.

This will allow fish farms to turn around product in about half the time as usual, a more profitable business model.

"Because this fish grows faster, you can use the same facility and produce twice as much product, and the overhead cost is halved," Purdue University professor emeritus and GMO expert William Muir told the Tribune. "That's really where we're going with it: Can we produce fish more cheaply? The fact is, aquaculture is expensive and it's not competitive with ocean-caught fish, because the ocean is free. But if you can produce salmon cheaply inland, large urban centers like Chicago would love to have fresh salmon next door."

Not everyone is excited about the GMO salmon, however. Despite the fact that some crops in the U.S. have been genetically modified and are in grocery stores and farmers markets nationwide, GMO opponents say changing the genetic makeup of an animal such as a salmon goes too far.

The Atlantic salmon being grown in Indiana are created in a lab from Atlantic salmon, chinook salmon, and ocean pout, the latter which resembles an eel.

"People should know what's in their food," Megan Westgate of The Non-GMO Project told the Tribune. "It's a transgenic species, a combination of three fish. A lot of people just feel it's unnatural, and it's not fish they'd want to feed to their children."

The U.S. is the world's top producer of GMO crops, many of which are sent to China.

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Americans are poised to eat their first genetically modified animal sometime near the end of 2020: farm-raised Atlantic salmon that grows twice as fast as the typical Atlantic salmon, according to the Chicago Tribune.
gmo, salmon, food, farm raised, ocean
327
2019-46-30
Thursday, 30 May 2019 08:46 PM
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