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Frankenfish Phobia – Genetically Engineered Salmon

As humans continue to find new alternative ways to bypass and trick nature for our benefit, are we really helping in the long run? Timothy Egan from The Opinion Pages addresses his concerns with AquaBounty Technologies and their new Genetically Engineered Salmon. We can’t foresee the effects that Genetically Engineered food will have on us in the future. Should the Food and Drug Administration be so hasty to approve this new form of “food”?

At a time when the shell of the earth has cracked and the ocean heaved a mortal wave upon a shore of vulnerable nuclear plants, a small miracle is playing out in the biggest river of the American West. Spring Chinook salmon, the alpinists of the maritime world, are following biological imperative and climbing their way up the Columbia to spawn and die.

They are returning from a life in the distant Pacific, swimming home to a grave in gravel, some going almost 1,000 river miles inland. Chinook are the largest salmon, easily the most tasty, and perhaps the most imperiled.

Given the demand for salmon, it is no surprise that a Frankenfish has emerged — a lab-created hybrid that could soon become the first genetically engineered animal approved by the Food and Drug Administration for human consumption. The company behind these manufactured fish promises that they will not affect ones from an ancient and wild gene pool.

Here we go again. It is human to think we can trick nature, or do it one better. It is human to think a tsunami would never knock out a nuclear plant, a hurricane would never bury a city and a deepwater oil drill would never poison a huge body of water. In the gods of technology we trust.

Until they fail. And then, we feel helpless and small and wonder what they — or we — were thinking.

The fate of wild salmon and a panic over power plants that no longer answer to human commands would not seem to be interlinked. But they are, in the belief that the parts of the world that have been fouled, or found lacking, can be engineered to our standards — without consequence. You see this attitude in the denial caucus of Congress, perhaps now a majority of Republicans in power, who say, in the face of all evidence to the contrary, that climate change is a hoax.

Read the rest of the Article, HERE.

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