Despite protests from consumer safety and environmental groups the Food and Drug Administration has approved genetically engineered salmon as fit for consumption. (The genetically engineered version grows about twice as fast.) Per the article:
Federal regulators on Thursday approved a genetically engineered salmon as fit for consumption, making it the first genetically altered animal to be cleared for American supermarkets and dinner tables....The F.D.A. said that to approve the salmon, it determined that the fish was safe to eat, that the inserted genetic elements did not harm the fish itself, and that the company had adequately proved that the salmon grew faster....The officials said the fish would not have to be labeled as being genetically engineered, a policy consistent with its stance on foods made from genetically engineered crops….The approval of the salmon has been fiercely opposed by some consumer and environmental groups, which have argued that the safety studies were inadequate and that wild salmon populations might be affected if the engineered fish were to escape into the oceans and rivers.... “This unfortunate, historic decision disregards the vast majority of consumers, many independent scientists, numerous members of Congress and salmon growers around the world, who have voiced strong opposition,” Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch, said in a statement…F.D.A. officials said on Thursday that the process took so long because it was the first approval of its kind. People involved in the application suspect that the Obama administration delayed approval because it was wary of a political backlash….The White House is now reviewing the entire framework for regulating genetically engineered products....Within hours of the agency’s decision on Thursday, one consumer advocacy group, the Center for Food Safety, said it and other organizations would file a lawsuit challenging the approval.
Where is the question we are to debate?
I guess the questions to consider are the same ones that all of the protesters are raising.
1.) Are genetically engineered salmon safe to eat at this point in time. 2.) Should consumers know via package labeling whether the salmon they buy have been genetically engineered. 3.) Will genetically engineered salmon pose a threat to the environment.
I am a proponent of genetic engineering to the benefit of mankind so long as it is safe. I don't see any evidence that the FDA decision abandons safety and given the growing world population I think it would be wise to cautiously develop genetically engineered food to feed it.
I also think that genetic engineering technology should be developed for health care purposes.