Undisclosed GMO salmon soon to be offered at restaurants, health-conscious consumers beware
(NaturalHealth365) Wild caught salmon is a well-known source of protein, healthy omega-3 fatty acids, and nutrients including selenium, vitamin B12, and potassium. Compared to their farm-raised cousins, salmon caught in the wild are also generally lower in contaminants. But, now, GMO salmon presents a whole new set of concerns for health-conscious consumers.
Obviously, wild caught fish tends to be more expensive – which is why restaurant owners (and grocery stores) find ‘farm-raised’ or GMO salmon to be so attractive. But, do most people fully understand the health impact of this change in our food supply?
Serving genetically modified salmon in restaurants is uncharted waters, but U.S. restaurants are lining up to dish it up
A few weeks ago, the Associated Press quietly shared some news out of an Indiana aquafarm known as AquaBounty. Here, fish farmers and scientists have been playing a questionable game with nature.
These farmers genetically modify their salmon eggs by injecting them with DNA of other fish species. This causes the salmon to hatch earlier and grow faster – about twice as fast as wild caught salmon.
These fish are then fed with fortified food (and who knows what else) and grown in cramped indoor tanks until they reach about 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms). After hitting double digits in weight, the fish can be sold to restaurants, schools, and other institutions in the U.S.
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By the way – it’s left up to the institutions whether they want to tell their customers that they’re serving GMO salmon – the first genetically modified animal ever approved for human consumption. (The U.S. Food and Drug Administration first approved genetically modified salmon for American dinner plates a few years ago, as we have previously reported on. We’re sad to see the status quo continue.)
Restaurants, school cafeterias, and other places plan on selling this risky food as early as next year. This means that you or your children could be consuming these genetically-altered farm-raised fish without your knowledge.
Health effects of genetically modified organisms – why consumers say ‘NO’ to GMOs
Proponents of genetically altered salmon say that these “bioengineered” fish are the exact same as wild salmon except for a single gene or two. The FDA has tried to compare the process of genetic modification (DNA insertion) to administering a drug.
But, if you ask us, this sounds like fishy (deceptive) jargon. (pun intended)
The truth is, the safety and health risks of GMOs have largely been misrepresented. We already have “reels” of animal studies showing that the gene expressions induced through genetic modification are associated with everything from oxidative stress and immune dysfunction to an increased risk of cancer cell growth.
These uncharted waters of genetically modifying animals is incredibly risky, as we have no long-term studies yet showing how their consumption can affect human health – let alone the health of the environment and other non-modified animals.
Your best bet is to choose wild caught fish whenever possible – and go to establishments that clearly offer it on their restaurant menus. As mentioned, wild caught fish tend to be healthier and lower in contaminants. They taste delicious, too, especially when prepared by a well-educated chef.
Additionally, to reduce your exposure to mercury (and other toxins), opt for fish that are lower on the food chain, including salmon, trout, sardines, and haddock.
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