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Genetically Modified… Salmon? Help Keep Frankenfish from Becoming a Reality

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently pondering whether or not to allow a genetically modified king salmon to be approved for human consumption.

We at SYRCL could surely wax prosaic on the dangers of these frankenfish to wild salmon and their (our) environs, but this time, we’ll let Mr. Timothy Egan do it in the New York Times opinion pages.  His is a great overview of the idea that we, puny humans, can do nature, “one better.”

Even the GMO to which he gives a little credit, including corn and soy, aren’t nearly so benign.  Another NY Times report from last year describes a grave threat to farms throughout the country, as herbicide-resistant weeds invade lands, forcing conventional farmers and land managers to return to much harsher chemicals.

Just imagine the possibility of similar unintended consequences moving through populations of endangered salmonids.

For farming, though, good news looms, too:  A recent United Nations report notes that a shift to “agroecological farming” can double food production in entire regions within ten years.

For salmon, we don’t need a frankenfish that grows unnaturally fast.  We have thousands and thousands of miles of habitat that has been locked away from wild fish; in returning fish to these habitats, and ensuring that they have clean rivers and oceans, we can steward an exponential increase in salmon numbers each year without the need to tinker with DNA.  Good stewardship, it turns out, reaps benefits beyond just a good feeling (though there’s no knocking a good feeling, for sure).

After reading the opinion piece by Mr. Egan, please head on over to Food & Water Watch’s website, and add your name and voice to the dozens of Representatives, Senators, organizations and individuals demanding that the FDA not approve frankenfish.

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