Monday, September 20, 2010

Genetically Engineered Salmon

The Food and Drug Administration is deciding on whether to approve the sale of genetically engineered fish, the first such animal approved for human consumption.

The agency has already said the salmon, which grows twice as fast as conventional salmon, is as safe to eat as the traditional variety.

Genetically engineered animals are not clones, which the FDA has already said are safe to eat. Clones are copies of an animal. Genetically engineered animals have their DNA altered.

Critics have two main concerns: The safety of the food to humans and the salmon's effect on the environment.
Because the altered fish has never been eaten before, they say, it could include dangerous allergens, especially because seafood is highly allergenic.
They also worry that the fish will escape and intermingle with the wild salmon population, which is already endangered.

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