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Genetic modification and the fate of sustainable fish farming

| June 10, 2013
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

The following is an editorial summary.

Whole Foods Market will not sell farmed salmon fed on a diet of genetically engineered yeast.The company behind the salmon, Verlasso, feeds its fish GE yeast instead of relying on oils from wild fish captured from the ocean.

“The irony,” writes Guardian reporter Marc Gunther, “is Verlasso itself is out to become a sustainability leader. Substituting plant-based feed for fish oils reduces pressure on the oceans. About half of the world’s fish oil production goes into farming salmon, according to a comprehensive 2008 FAO study. When compared with conventional fish farms, Verlasso says it gives its salmon more water in which to swim, uses fewer antibiotics and takes extra precautions to prevent fish escapes.”

Whole Foods has an “outsized influence” on the success of sustainable foods — their rejection of all things GM may stifle the success of biotechnology companies like Verlasso that are genuinely interested in improving the environment.

Read the full story here: Will a failure to consider GM hold back sustainable fish farming?

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The GLP featured this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. The viewpoint is the author’s own. The GLP’s goal is to stimulate constructive discourse on challenging science issues.

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