A genetically-modified AquAdvantage salmon, top, next to a control salmon of the same age.
On September 19th, a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee is meeting to consider the approval of the first transgenic farm animal for human consumption, the AquAdvantage Salmon. Genetically engineered for rapid growth with two stretches of foreign DNA, a growth hormone gene with an antifreeze protein promoter, these Atlantic salmon “frankenfish” hold a 20-fold growth advantage over non-genetically modified animals.1
The FDA notes evidence of “increased frequency of skeletal malformations, and increased prevalence of jaw erosions and multisystemic, focal inflammation” in the tissues of AquAdvantage Salmon. However, the FDA dismisses these findings as “within the range observed in rapid growth phenotypes of non-genetically engineered Atlantic salmon.” In other words, the abnormalities they found were no worse than those currently plaguing farmed salmon genetically manipulated for accelerated growth through other means.2
Up to 80 percent of factory farmed salmon in Chile, where most of our Atlantic salmon is imported from, have suffered from what the aquaculture industry calls “screamer disease,” in which severe facial disfigurements lock their jaws permanently agape.3 …read more of GMO Salmon Frankenfish and Screamer Disease here