It's about our community and our spirituality!

Genetically Modified Salmon

By far my most favorite seafood is salmon. I don’t even know for sure if salmon is a seafood since it comes out of a river, at least the ones I prefer to buy do so. I’m sure some technical hairsplitter somewhere will make a comment pointing out the error of my assumption that the animal classified as salmonus-eatemupis is a river fish and therefore not seafood. Out of all the things that come out of the water that isn’t considered some kind of plant or mineral, salmon is by far my favorite.

I prefer wild salmon. While the farm raised salmon might work in a pinch, to my taste buds the wild salmon is far deeper and more flavorful. When you see the two in the grocery store, wild salmon has a stronger color, going into a deeper ruby pink while the color of the farm raised fish looks washed out. Wild salmon feeds mostly off of wild shrimp which gives it its strong color. And while the farm raised stuff gets an injection of food coloring to help give it a more attractive color, it still comes out looking like a bleached, pastel orange.

But now I hear that a third option is coming onto the market. This morning while listening to my beloved National Public Radio, I hear that the United States Food and Drug Administration advisers is beginning two days of hearings on whether or not to recommend approval of genetically modified salmon for humans to eat. If given the advisers blessing it would be the first time a genetically modified animal will wind up on the nation’s kitchen tables.

AquaBounty Technologies, the developer of the genetically modified salmon, believes that its mutated fish could help reduce pollution, disease and other problems associated with having salmon fish farms and provide an alternative source of seafood to help reduce the impact of over fishing. The mutated salmon can grow bigger and faster than unmodified fish. Who can see a problem with that?

The people at AquaBounty really don’t have much vision. While they can envision salmon fish farms around the nation paying top dollar for their little mutant fishies, what would happen to the unmodified salmon population if one of those mutant fishes got into the natural environment and started squeezing out the natives?

Didn’t anybody learn anything from that fiasco with the Asian carp creeping its way into Lake Michigan? From what I understand, the United States Army Corp of Engineers is trying to hotwire Chicago canals to keep that beastie out of the Great Lakes and taking over those waters. At one point, somebody somewhere thought that fish was harmless or would have been properly contained. Who knew things were going to get out of hand?

And what kind of flavor would mutant salmon growing exponentially faster than its unmodified peers would have? If my experience with altered tomatoes is any indication, I’d probably think the packaging the mutant fish would arrive in would be tastier. If nature thought that it was a good idea for a fish to reach maturity in a couple of hours it would’ve probably happened by now. Nature’s secret ingredient has always been time. Farmers know that between sowing and harvest is time.

There are tree farms that plant modified trees that can reach maturity in a fraction of the time of regular trees. A tree that would take forty years to grow can now be done in ten years. But the lumber that is cut from that tree isn’t as strong as its naturally grown peers. If you pay close attention to the grain of the wood, you’d see that new wood has a lot of real estate between its grain lines compared to old woods that have tightly spaced lines. The integrity of old wood is superior to this new stuff that’s supposed to be such an improvement.

The truth of the matter is that the wood isn’t something developed for consumer’s benefit. It was developed to improve the profits of fish farms. Fish growing twice as big in half the time will take far less financial investment to raise to maturity. These companies will produce studies to show that the nutritional value of one of these balloon fish is the equivalent of the unaltered variety.

Like tomatoes altered to be produced year round and grow in a faction of the time they used to take, the resulting product will be something that wasn’t given the time necessary to mature with an honest to goodness flavor that can’t be reproduced artificially. If it was so easy to produce fish of the same quality as what grows in nature then farm raised salmon would be just as good as its wild cousin.

But I’m here to tell you that this is just not the case. Wild salmon is heads up superior than its farm raised cousin, and theoretically speaking these two come from the same stock. Throw in a genetically modified fish that grows so dramatically faster and larger, chances are really good that the flavor has suffered just as dramatically. Thank you AquaBounty and Food and Drug Administration, but I like my salmon totally natural and grown in the wild. No offense, but I’d prefer to keep genetically modified off the market.

Monday, September 20, 2010 - Posted by | Life, Thoughts |


  1. the developers of this new salmon food product say that its genetically stilla salmon, will taste the same, have the same texture etc etc, and will bring down the price of salmon by having a greater supply.

    I like the idea as it pertains to my wallet, but I too, given the fish hasn’t left the labatory yet, am skeptical about it all…especially since I’m a picky salmon lover as well.

    Comment by mike lovell | Tuesday, September 21, 2010 | Reply

  2. Once those GM salmon get out, their engineered genome will get mixed in with the wild salmon, and the genie will never be returned to the bottle, for good or ill.

    We’ve seen Monsanto sue farmers for harvesting plants whose seeds have Monsanto’s genome in them, when said plants were the result of pollen drift. Goodness knows what will happen to a fisherman who catches one of these patented super-salmon.

    I’m not scared of GM foods per se, but I am a bit worried about what direct tinkering with the genome will cause once those animals get loose.

    Comment by Jeff | Tuesday, September 21, 2010 | Reply

  3. Hello,
    How do you know that Genetically modified salmon is not beneficial to the byers? Do you feel that GMS will kick out naturally grown salmon? what if eating GMS (not me personally) will help regular salmon grow in population since we won’t be consuming them as quickly?

    Questions from an AP human Geography student, 9th grade

    Comment by Chelsea | Thursday, September 23, 2010 | Reply

    • Thanks for the feedback Chelsea,

      But let me try to explain it in more simple terms. If you’ve ever made pre-sweetened Kool-Aid, you know that for every packet of the sugary powder there’s only so much water you can add to keep the flavor. Add too much water and the flavor starts to dilute. The same mix that was good for a quart can’t be asked to produce a gallon and keep the same flavor. Will genetically modified salmon impact the natural salmon? Who knows. That’s the real problem. If it gets released into the wild and it does start to impact the native fish, how will we eliminate it back out of the wild? And if the natural salmon is impacted, who’s to say if it would result in a “kick out”? If diluted salmon is as good as the regular kind then why hasn’t nature figured that out yet?


      Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Thursday, September 23, 2010 | Reply

    • Hi I think if we look at our history with invasive species the people backing them all said “oh these mutants or these cane toads, poka vine, and ask the people in Georgia about invasive. I am also concerned that G.E. wants to feed us these salmon without labeling them,as they have been doing with plants for over 20 yrs. SAY NO TO MUTANTS AND ENVASIVE SPECIES. A 5 yr. old girl recently began menses. This is suppose to be OK but stem cells are bad??? wierd.

      Comment by Everett Brown | Tuesday, November 16, 2010 | Reply

  4. thank you for your time Brotherpeacemaker, you article has got me thinking and also my report on it was excellent. Asking you my questions was not part of my report (I was supposed to writ my questions but not really give them to you) but it impressed my AP Human Geography teacher that i had done so and that you answered. Thank you very much!

    plus it was a well written article, i am looking forward to seeing more.

    Comment by Chelsea | Friday, September 24, 2010 | Reply

    • Chelsea,

      Thanks again for the feedback. I’m glad to hear that your AP Human Geography teacher was impressed. I’m all for education. And the comment that you left saying that the comment was well written was much appreciated as well. Please feel welcome to come back as much as possible. Better yet, let me know when you start your own blog. I’m always looking for something intelligent to read. Would it be too much to ask to see a copy of your report?


      Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Friday, September 24, 2010 | Reply

  5. Yes, it is quite short, forgive me if i said report, now that i think about it it’s maybe a little more than a summary. but the assignment is to write up a summary,Questions to the author, why the author wrote what he did, and why. and our opinion on what the author wrote.

    Comment by Chelsea | Monday, September 27, 2010 | Reply

  6. Summary: This article was about Genetically Modified Salmon and how Brotherpeacemaker thinks that it is not a good idea to rush the natural cycle of salmon.

    Questions: How do you know that Genetically modifies salmon is not beneficial to the byers? Do you feel that Modified salmon will kick out natural salmon? What if GMS will help natural salmon grow in populating since we wont be consuming then?

    Brotherpeacemaker is writing about this because he wants to throw out the point that GMS may grow faster but in truth it will have the potential of using up the rest of naturally grown salmon and it’s rushing the ways of nature. He is writing it now because salmon is an endangered animal. in his opinion GMS will only speed up the extinction of natural salmon.

    I agree with Brotherpeacemaker, GMS is indeed messing with the way of nature. GMS is speeding up the already sped life of salmon but this can actually help regular salmon grow back their normal population.

    (If anything if wrong about my thinking of your thoughts, please indicate it. it’s good to get feedback!)

    Comment by Chelsea | Monday, September 27, 2010 | Reply

  7. For those of you that have an interested in what is going on with the WHOLE genetically modified food conversation this documentary is a must see. You can check out the site at It is so important for us to be informed so that we can make educated decisions about out food. Thank you Brotherpeacemaker for the discussion.:-)

    Comment by Raychelle | Wednesday, September 29, 2010 | Reply

  8. Hi Brother! I heard about this. Everything faster, bigger, and more! The mad scientists are saying “We’ll force it to bend to our wills! bwahahahahaaaa!”

    And they wonder why people are developing every strange kind of disorder and disease.

    You’ve seen the supercow, haven’t you?

    Comment by Anna Renee | Saturday, October 2, 2010 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: