Q & A Library
Is Genetically Modified Salmon Safe?
What do you think of genetically modified salmon?
Answer (Published 9/23/2010)
The FDA is considering approval of genetically modified (GM) salmon that grows at twice the rate of normal salmon. According to The New York Times, the company that developed the fast-growing fish has submitted all the data the FDA has required to determine whether GM salmon are safe to eat, nutritionally equivalent to other salmon and safe for the environment.
I discussed this issue with Randy Hartnell, president of Vital Choice Wild Seafood and Organics, which I’ve often recommended as a preferred source of sustainably harvested wild Alaskan salmon (and other seafood). Here are his thoughts:
"Faster-growing genetically modified (GM) salmon may end up being cheaper than wild salmon or non-GM farmed salmon, but perceived savings at the cash register are likely to be offset by a variety of hidden nutritional and environmental costs." Hartnell notes that the full impact of GM salmon will depend largely upon two factors:
"In addition, all wild Alaskan salmon and most wild Canadian salmon are certified sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council. This year more than 100 million wild salmon will be sustainably harvested from Alaskan waters – above and beyond millions of additional fish allowed to return to their native spawning grounds," Hartnell said.
If the FDA does approve the GM salmon, it will be two to three years before the fish reach the marketplace.
Andrew Weil, M.D.
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