June 4, 2023

GE Salmon: What Can You Do?

We’ve received several letters from readers who are concerned about the FDA possibly approving genetically engineered (GE) salmon, and what they can do about it. There are many petitions circulating, asking the government to do more studies and reconsider before approving the first engineered animal. You can also contact your representatives in Congress and tell them how you feel about this issue.

SalmonWenowah Hauter, Director of Food & Water Watch, has written a book called Foodopoly. In it, she describes some of the potential problems and concerns with what she calls “frankenfish”. The salmon is created by inserting the genes of ocean pout, so the fish grows to market size in half the time. Since the FDA has no regulatory process for legalizing these animals, they are using the process designed for veterinary drugs. This “guarantees a high level of secrecy during the process because company data and research are considered trade secrets,” according to the book.

Four studies were used in the approval process. One is twenty years old, and the others were conducted by Aquabounty and its contractors and were not reviewed by scientific peers. Nutrition and studies on possible allergic reactions used only six salmon. This is especially problematic because of the salmon’s high protein content. High protein foods are more likely to cause allergic reactions.

Regular farmed salmon routinely escape into the wild. The possible escape of GE salmon is very worrisome. Their large size could outcompete wild salmon for food, possibly causing extinction in 40 generations. Disease is also a concern: Salmon Anaemia, a deadly fish flu, contaminated AquaBounty’s Canadian production site, according to Center for Food Safety. In addition, up to 5% of GE salmon eggs could be fertile, despite AquaBounty’s claim that they only produce sterile salmon.

There have been 400,000 public comments and statements from 40 members of Congress sent to the FDA opposing GE salmon approval. Andrew Kimbrell, executive director for Center for Food Safety said, “it is extremely disappointing that the Obama Administration continues to push approval of this dangerous and unnecessary product.”

The Center for Food Safety has started a new petition telling the FDA not to approve GE salmon. The Institute for Responsible Technology also has a petition available online. You can also sign the petition at Food & Water Watch, asking members of Congress to stop GE salmon approval. Finally, you can contact your members of Congress and ask them to oppose GE salmon approval.


  1. Every food has been genetically engineered for thousands of years. Modern engineers were more clever.

    • Margaret Larsen says

      Cross breeding and selective breeding are hardly the same things as adding foreign DNA to plants and animals. We don’t know the long term effects of this manipulation; for instance, putting a fish gene into tomatoes goes way behind cross breeding and can make the tomato allergenic to those allergic to fish.

      • Putting a fish gene into tomatoes could be a problem, although only a few protein products have much allergenicity. In the case of the GE salmon, this shouldn’t be an issue, since genes were transferred from other fish.

  2. These salmon, which use a growth-hormone gene from Chinook salmon and a cold-water tolerance gene from the ocean pout, are not distinguishable in food safety considerations from other salmon. They are produced on land in Panama, and can’t escape into the wild, since they can’t survive in the warm Panama streams. So both health and environmental contamination concerns are absent. The only concern left is genetic engineering per se – and all of us are already eating GE foods (corn and soybean products) and probably wearing GE cotton. It seems to me that the fight against GE products is over. GE won.

    • It is what it is says

      Not so fast. Yes, it seems as you say that ‘all of us are already eating GE foods (corn and soybean products)…’ AND HAVE YOU NOTICED THAT ALMOST ALL OF US ARE ALSO SICK, TORMENTED WITH ALLERGIES AND/OR OBESE AND NOW ON MEDS BECAUSE OF IT? I think better we get smart, wake up and stand together – before we cannot – and at least get these genocidal products labeled so that those that prefer to play in the street with their life – are the ones that receive the consequences of their choices – instead of those of us that are trying to do our best to be healthy and must fight every step of the way to get there. I say, if they are aware enough that these unique ‘products’ of theirs need a patent – then they should be proud enough of their ‘inventions’ to LABEL THEM CLEARLY. They don’t want them tested and they don’t want them labeled. You know why? Because when the people know the truth – for some reason – they don’t align with the genocidal picture that these ‘creators’ are in favor of. Truth hurts their cause. That should be a MAJOR WARNING TO US.

      • No, most of us are not sick, despite our tendencies to over-indulge. I think this kind of evidence-free lashing out at the world is a much greater problem than the possible consumption of a faster-growing Atlantic salmon, the actual topic of this thread….

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