Friday, July 5, 2019

"Frankenfish Salmon" Coming Soon To A Restaurant Near You - And You Likely Won't Know

"Franken Salmon"(larger fish) compared to normal -natural sized salmon at same age.

The news in The Sunday Denver Post Business section that restaurants (along with university cafeterias) will be among the first to serve Franken fish salmon (late next year) ought to give pause to every serious citizen.  Unlike in Europe where governments are far more cautious, the U.S. under the Trumpies has Ok'd these genetically modified beasts for human consumption,  The primary provider is an outfit called 'Aquabounty' which also has performed a neat dodge in respect of telling those customers faced with this unnaturally large salmon,  According to Aquabounty CEO Sylvia Wulff:

"It's their customers not ours!"

Nice dump off!  So if any consumer gets ill for any reason, or has an allergic reaction, it's all on the secondary providers not the company that created these monsters. As far as how these entities are produced we are informed:

"To produce its fish Aquabounty injects Atlantic salmon with DNA from other fish species that make them grow to full size in about 18 months which is about twice as fast as regular salmon".

The company goes on to assert it's "a more efficient process given less feed is used", and so it's a lot cheaper to raise these mutants.   After the franken-salmon are created and lay eggs, they are shipped from the company's Canadian location "after first clearing regulatory hurdles".  We aren't informed what these hurdles are, but knowing the Trump swamp appointments,  they'd have to be minimal.  Thus, Trump signed an executive order last month directing federal agencies to "simplify" regulations for genetically engineered plants and animals.

It is also interesting this this order comes as companies are turning to a newer gene-editing technology (CRISPR) that makes it ,much easier to tinker with plant and animal DNA.  Think your chicken and fish are just fine, well maybe they are after the Norwegian rat DNA has been spliced into these.  In any case the use of such new technology is "blurring the lines around what should be considered a genetically modified organism."

How these creatures will affect human cells and metabolism we don't yet know. Stomach, pancreatic or liver cancers? We can't say..  All we know thus far is: a) several grocers including Kroger and Whole Foods will not sell the GMO fish, and b) there will be only minimal transparency.

In terms of the second, it may rival the application of differential calculus to know what exactly you are purchasing at the grocery in the years ahead.   It may not always be obvious what the heck you are buying.  For example, the disclosure regulation will start being implemented next year but mandatory compliance doesn't start until 2022.   That means some grocers may choose not to inform you of what's there, while others intend to bury the identity in the UPC code, and still others may just use an obscure coverall label such as "bio-engineered."

What does that mean anyway?  As Amy van Saun from the Center for Food Safety points out (ibid.):

"Nobody uses that term"

Adding that "genetically engineered" or "genetically modified" are more common.   But why use more common terms when you can baffle with bullshit?

Realizing this serious problem,  the Center is suing the U.S.  Food and Drug Administration over the approval of Aquabounty's version of salmon.  It is also among the groups asking grocers to pledge not to sell the unnatural fish.

The disclosure rules also don't apply to restaurants and similar food service establishments.  While most patrons may not mind what they eat as far as salmon, Greg Jaffe -  of the Center for Science in the Public Interest -   notes that "restaurants can make the information available to customers who want it."

Interestingly, Aquabounty's Wulff insists the company believes in transparency but "questioned why people would want to know whether the fish was genetically modified."   Well, for the same reason I want to know if the tomatoes I eat were produced using mouse genes, to enable longer shelf life.  But according to her:

"It's identical to Atlantic salmon except for one gene."

Well, then it's not "identical" to Atlantic salmon.  Besides, all these fussy people may just believe in the precautionary principle before they buy or consume a GMO entity.

By the precautionary principle it is not the activists who must demonstrate any negative or untoward effects attendant on consuming GMO foods. It is the GMO food producers' job to prove their products are safe.  Up to now they have not done so, all the corporate media banter and baloney to the contrary.  This is why we have insisted on proper labeling of GMO foods, not an outright ban on them.

As the Post article notes, a 2015 AP- GfK pol found that two third of Americans support labeling of GMO ingredients on food packages.  If any company or establishment is resistant to such labeling one must then wonder what it is they have to hide.

Only a totalitarian state dismisses citizens' desire for more information, especially concerning what they will be putting into their bodies.

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