An editorial in the Denver Post announce that the Food and Drug Administration had “…finally conceded the unavoidable scientific reality: AquaBounty Technologies’ genetically engineered Atlantic salmon is safe for human consumption. The salmon has been genetically modified with genes from two other fish that allows it to grow more quickly. In a world needing food, it would seem that a fish that grows to larger sizes would be a good thing. But then there is the drumbeat of vilification of anything GMO to be considered. Should people be willing to eat “…the first GMO animal approved in the U.S.?”
“The answer depends on whether they believe the scientific consensus on GMO foods, which is that they are safe to eat. And it also depends on whether consumers think GMO foods have a role to play in feeding a world whose population is growing.” I think the answer to the second question is crucial. I’ll phrase it differently. Do we think it is better to let people to starve than to offer them genetically modified foods that provide food to more people?
There was a poll about the Post editorial that said sixty percent of those responding would not eat the GMO salmon. Apparently the Food and Drug Administration and the Post opinion that the salmon are completely safe hasn’t convinced the majority, or at least the majority of those who responded to the poll.