World’s First Genetically Engineered Animal for Mass Consumption On its Way

Not only are these unfortunate creatures genetically modified to eat continually and grow twice as fast, but they have a lab-induced sexual identity crisis. They’re neomales – a genetically female fish which has been masculinised in order to make it sterile. Despite their almost complete sterility apparently 1-3 in 1000 are still able to reproduce, and thus could potentially impact wild fish stocks.

The foreign gene comes from the ocean pout, a completely unrelated eel-like species that can survive in extremely cold water. The pout has natural antifreeze properties in its blood – which, when transferred to the Atlantic salmon, enables the ‘new’ fish to grow year round. But wait, there’s more. Before the pout’s gene is transferred to the Atlantic salmon (injected into the salmon’s eggs), it’s grafted into the fast-growing chinook salmon’s gene to take up that trait also.

Normal salmon will sound so dull as dishwater after this, right?

The FDA ‘briefing packet’ (PDF) advises us of a two month window in which they will consider if the world’s first commercially produced genetically engineered animal should be labeled or not. The FDA will accept written comments on the labeling until 22 November.

My guess, based on their historic corporate-friendly ‘approval rating’, is that their mind is already made up.

The FDA report on the safety of the fish is based on, predictably, studies done by AquaBounty Technologies Inc. – that’s right, the people who ‘produced’ it, and who will profit from the Frankenfish getting approved and onto your plate. AquaBounty won’t be selling the meat, but rather selling fish eggs to fish farmers. After a decade of research, breeding and trials, you can be sure they’re motivated to push this one through – at whatever cost to your health. GMOs create unexpected proteins – causing potentially deadly allergies. Even buffalo, not a delicate creature, have died after feeding on bt cotton, as just one example. The environment at large will also get sidelined in the big profit chase.

We’ve seen it with the Big Agri branch of Big Biotech – with Monsanto even stooping to use private military intelligence contractors (Total Intelligence Solutions, a subsidiary, or shell organisation of Xe Services, aka Blackwater) to infiltrate groups opposing them. (See here and here.) Even though Monsanto may have nothing to do with the creation of these fish, they will also be hoping AquaBounty succeeds, as labelling is their death knell. Indeed, they want to see GMO pork on the menu themselves.

Will we fight this? Will we eat this? Are animals smarter than we in this regard?:

The farmer grinned as he told the visitor, "Watch this!" He called his pigs, which ran frantically towards him to be fed. But when he scooped out corn and threw it on the ground, the pigs sniffed it and then looked up at the farmer with confused expectation. The farmer then scooped corn from another bin and flung it near the pigs, which ran over and quickly devoured it.

The farmer said, "The first corn is genetically engineered. They won’t touch it."

It’s not just pigs that swear off genetically modified organisms (GMOs). In South Africa, Strilli Oppenheimer’s chickens won’t eat genetically modified (GM) corn. Most buffalo in Haryana, India, refuse cottonseed cakes if made from GM cotton plants. Geese migrating through Illinois only munched sections of the soybean field that was non-GMO. When given a choice, elk, deer, raccoons, and rats all avoided GMOs. And even during the coldest days of Iowa winter, squirrels, which regularly devour natural corn, refused to touch the GM variety.

One skeptical farmer who read about the squirrels wanted to see for himself if it was true. He bought a bag full of GM corn ears, and another of non-GM, and left them in his garage till winter. But by the time he fetched the bags, mice had done the experiment for him. They broke into the natural corn bag and finished it; the GM cobs were untouched.

Doctors prescribe no GMOs

No one knows why the animals refuse GMOs, but according to a 2009 statement by the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM), when lab animals do eat GM feed, it’s not pretty. "Several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food," says the AAEM policy paper, which specifically cited infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system, among the impacts of eating GMOs. "There is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects," they wrote. "There is causation…"

Although we humans don’t have a natural sense to stay away from GM foods, AAEM’s position indicates that we should take a lesson from the animals. This renowned medical organization, which first recognized such dangers as food allergies, chemical sensitivity, and Gulf War Syndrome, called on all physicians to prescribe non-GMO diets to all patients.¹ They also called for a moratorium on GMOs, long-term independent studies, and labeling. –

More scientific detail on AquAdvantage here.