‘People always have, and likely always will, fear new things’: Why we still can’t buy AquaBounty’s GM salmon

Credit: CBAN
Credit: CBAN

An ordinary salmon could take three years to grow, while AquaBounty’s fish grows to full size in just eighteen months. What more, the company claims to use 25% less feed to grow it.

Clearly, the fish is a cost-efficient speedrun, but there’s another problem that AquaBounty is attempting to solve. See, the world is running out of fish. As we are harvesting the oceans at unsustainable levels, we may have to rely on genetically engineered fish to fulfill our needs.

And yet, it seems like you don’t want it.

In a 2013 poll from The New York Times, 75% of the respondents said they wouldn’t eat genetically engineered fish. Additionally, nearly two million Americans directly asked the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) not to approve the salmon. They expressed concerns regarding personal health, the environment, and jobs, amongst other factors. Some people found the salmon appalling enough to call it the “frankenfish.”

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One approved genetically engineered salmon could open the floodgates to other gene edited food, which could have a big impact on very-well established and highly influential corporations in the food industry. In time, however, I believe that genetically engineered food will become the norm.

People always have, and likely always will, fear new things.

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