Yes, this is a real question! Although I couldn’t believe it when I first read this Reuters article.
Basically, the fish are being pumped with a permanent growth hormone. This makes it grow faster which of course means that the company making them (you read that right, 'making'), Aqua Bounty Technologies Inc can sell the fish faster. More fish sold in a shorter period of time equates to more dollars.
The fish in question is a type of Atlantic salmon. I say 'type' because no matter how close the two fish species resemble each other, the minute you play around with genetics, the so called traditional species will NEVER be the same.
In fact, you should call it by its proper commercial name, AquAdvantage. Imagine going to a restaurant and ordering 'a steamed fillet of AquAdvantage and vegetables'! It's crazy to say the least and seems as if we're living in a science-fiction movie. If we are then could someone please hand me a script because I clearly don’t know my lines!
According to the article, on September 19, the FDA will meet for three days to discuss whether they should approve the salmon. If they do, the Dr Frankenstein scientists at the biotechnology company will start engineering trout and tilapia. I get cold shivers every time the word ‘engineer’ gets associated with food and animals.
The following excerpts and quotes from the article are almost hilarious…if it wasn't for the deadly serious nature of the whole concept:
"Outside advisers will weigh available data and offer advice, although the FDA will later make the final call. 'This is an Atlantic salmon in every measurable way,' said Aqua Bounty Chief Executive Ronald Stotish. 'When you look at the fish, it's impossible to see the difference.' Stotish said the company has analyzed its salmon and found no differences that warrant any kind of special labeling."
Of course it's impossible for the average person to see the difference! Not everyone has a microscope and PhD in genetics!
"Using technology developed by Canadian researchers, AquAdvantage grows to full size in less than 250 days compared with about 400 days for a traditional Atlantic salmon, according to the biotech."
I doubt this so called 'technology' will ever be revealed to the public. I can assume that because it forces the 'fish' to grow so quickly then it cannot be natural…or normal…or right.
"Aqua Bounty has submitted all the FDA-required data, Stotish said, but has done no animal or human clinical trials. It has, however, conducted several taste tests, and Stotish says people like it just fine."
Probably the statement of the year in my opinion! That's like saying "Hey, we haven’t done any tests whatsoever on this stuff you're about to it eat, but let’s be honest but who really cares?! It tastes awesome! Just ask those people over there. Safety isn't nearly as important as the taste!"
This takes me all back to the heading of this blog entry…would you eat genetically engineered fish?