Just say no to Frankenfish

Why do people so often want to “improve” something that’s already working just fine? There are many examples of that compulsion throughout human history, but we’re concerned about a new one: genetically modified salmon, also known as “frankenfish.”

It was bad enough dealing with farmed Atlantic salmon, but now the fish-farming industry wants to throw this new freak of manipulated nature onto our plates. We can’t figure out why anyone would want to eat a test-tube fish that combines the genetic material of an Atlantic salmon, a Pacific chinook salmon, and an eel.

Alaska’s congressional delegation — Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich, and Rep. Don Young — have signed letters asking the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to reject these fish for consumption by humans.

The FDA is considering an application by Aqua Bounty, Inc., to raise these weird fish in Panama, and then import them to the United States. The genetic manipulation allows these fish to grow faster than real fish, and there is a legitimate concern about how these fish might affect normal fish when they escape.

The freaky fish also could hurt the market for wild salmon, especially if it’s carried in stores without labels.

A total of eight U.S. senators and 15 representatives signed letters opposing FDA approval of frankenfish. We’d like to sign on, too.

Just because we have the technology, it doesn’t mean we should cut and paste genetic material willy-nilly in hopes of building a perfect salmon. We already have the perfect salmon, after all. It’s been proven over and over that wild Pacific salmon — Alaska salmon, to be specific — is the healthiest, tastiest fish humans can eat. Don’t mess with a good thing.

— Ketchikan Daily News, July 18

More

Tue, 03/28/2017 - 20:19

What others say: Legislature move unwarranted

In case you were worried the Legislature might be making too much progress in Juneau on issues of substance such as the state budget and... Read more

Tue, 03/28/2017 - 20:18

Op-ed: Crashing down to earth

Let’s dispense with the sanctimony and admit it: Most of us really enjoy piling on. I know I do. There are few things more exhilarating... Read more

Tue, 03/28/2017 - 09:57

Op-ed: Personality and policy

In the aftermath of the debacle over the Republican effort to repeal and replace Obamacare, President Trump can learn a valuable lesson that will serve... Read more

What others say: Cleaning up

When we make a mess, we ought to clean it up.

Read more

Around the Web