GM Salmon – The Debate Begins Again

Recently, the United States of America gave the green light for the sale of genetically modified salmon. This is a big step for the genetically modified food community – it is the first genetically modified animal in the world to be grown for human consumption. But what does it mean for us in Australia?

It took nearly 20 years for the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prove that GM salmon will not pose any health risks. But for the Australian food safety regulator, Food Safety Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), issued a statement to Australian consumers, saying the GM salmon had not been approved for sale in Australia.

The main reasons that the FSANZ have not been able to push through for the selling of GM salmon in stores is because of;

  • the cutting of harvest time – this angers environmental and food safety groups even though the injection that helps the salmon grow has been given the FDA’s tick of approval
  • the rejection of Aussie farmers – the Tasmanian Salmon Growers Association (TSGA) have absolutely no interest in producing GM salmon

But the topics has opened up the doors to other GM animals like other fish. Friends of the Earth say at least 35 other species of genetically engineered fish, along with chickens, pigs and cows are currently under development, but it’s not clear if the animals would be destined for human consumption or if any are awaiting FDA approval. For this to go ahead, producers will have to clearly label if their product is GM modified or not.

Question is now, will you eat genetically modified food? Do you need to research more into what effects genetically modified food has on the consumer?

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