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Walmart will sell “Frankenfish,” or genetically engineered salmon, in its stores. Particularly, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) now permits the sale of AquaAdvantage Salmon.
AquaAdvantage is a genetically modified variety of salmon created by AquaBounty. Specifically, the AquaAdvantage salmon contains the DNA of both Atlantic and Pacific Salmon.
AquaAdvantage is mixing the DNA because Pacific salmon grow faster than Atlantic Salmon. Additionally, the new “Frankenfish” salmon eat 25% less food than regular salmon.
So, AquaAdvantage can make more money by growing more salmon faster with genetic engineering. Moreover, Walmart can increase their sales by offering more salmon at a lower price through the use of genetically modified fish.
Frankenfish Lives And Walmart Plans To Sell It
Frankenfish is a nickname that British tabloid journalists use for genetically modified fish. Tabloid writers call genetically modified organisms (GMO) “frankenfood” because companies artificially create them like Frankenstein’s monster.
Currently, AquaBounty keeps the Frankenfish salmon in tanks in Panama, The Conversation reports. In addition, they keep some GMO salmon in tanks on Canada’s Prince Edward Island.
AquaBounty is raising the genetically engineered salmon Walmart will sell at a fish farm in Albany, Indiana. In detail, AquaBounty will grow the salmon from genetically engineered eggs from Canada, Indiana Public Media reports.
The Indiana Salmon are cheaper than most salmon because AquaBounty does not fly them in from countries like Chile. In fact, most of the salmon in America’s supermarkets presently come from commercial fish farms in Chile. Obviously, hauling salmon from Indiana in a truck is cheaper than flying it in from South America.
Frankenfish Comes To Walmart
“Frankenfish is the first genetically engineered animal for food that the FDA has approved for human consumption,” a Campaign Labs Change.org petition claims. “And the first genetically engineered animal allowed to enter the food supply anywhere.”
Astonishingly, your family could now eat Frankenfish without even realizing it. This is because the FDA’s guidelines do not require AquaBounty or retailers to label AquaAdvantage as GMO.
Your Family Could Eat GMO Frankenfish Without Knowing It
Consequently, GMO salmon could be on the menu at your favorite sushi bar or for sale in your local supermarket without your knowledge. Fortunately, though, some retailers are refusing to sell Frankenfish.
Costco Wholesale, Safeway, Target, and Whole Foods (part of Amazon) have promised not to sell GMO AquaAdvantage, Campaign Labs claims. Notwithstanding, America’s two largest grocers, Walmart and Kroger, are not on Campaigns Labs’ list.
Walmart sells the most groceries (26%) in America according to Statista. Meanwhile, Kroger is the largest operator of traditional supermarkets in the United States with over 2,796 stores in 35 states. Notably, AquaBounty’s fish farm is in New Albany, Indiana, which is a short drive from Kroger’s headquarters in Cincinnati.
Is GMO Salmon Safe?
Some scientists, however, believe that GMO salmon is unsafe for human consumption. For example, Consumers’ Union’s Senior Scientist Michael Hansen thinks Frankenfish could be dangerous.
In particular, Hansen believes the FDA testing of AquaAdvantage was insufficient and inconclusive. “Bottom line, this safety assessment is insufficient and needs to be redone with all the needed data,” Hansen writes. Hansen alleges that the FDA approved AquaAdvantage for sale after testing just six salmon.
The AquaAdvantage Salmon worries Hansen because scientists genetically engineered it to produce a growth hormone. Particularly, Hansen worries the FDA did not adequately research the growth hormone’s effect on humans.
Additionally, Hansen thinks the analysis of AquaAdvantage does not meet the FDA’s standards for a new animal drug. To explain, Hansen thinks the FDA should consider the growth hormone a drug. In fact, Hansen alleges that mothers could feed their children a growth hormone drug without realizing it.
Finally, Hansen claims the growth hormone in the GMO salmon could cause health problems. Those problems could include allergic reactions to the hormone.
Will GMO Fill Your Supermarket Shelves?
AquaBounty’s Frankenfish could be the first of many genetically engineered meats at your supermarket.
“This could absolutely open the floodgates to other genetically modified foods,” Campaigns Labs writes of AquaAdvantage. Specifically, Campaign Labs researchers worry that Walmart’s sale of Frankenfish will force other retailers to stock GMO salmon.
Under these circumstances, genetically modified meat could become the norm at your local supermarket. As a result, people who want GMO-free meat and fish will need to raise their own or buy a rifle and a fishing pole.
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What are your thoughts on Walmart deciding to sell genetically engineered salmon? Let us know in the comments below.