In September of 2010, a new genetically modified animal hybrid sparked mass concern as well as nationwide controversy. The possibility of having genetically modified salmon for dinner did not sit well with many independent scientists, consumer groups, environmental organizations, and especially the healthy consumer. Although the genetically modified salmon, commonly referred to as “frankenfish”, has not yet been approved for consumption, it seems that certain US organizations are determined to place the fish on your plate.
Frankenfish | Funded by the USDA
It wasn’t until 2010, when the House of Representatives got involved with the approval of genetically modified salmon, was Aquabounty hit with severe critical opposition. When Aquabounty’s genetically modified salmon was in effect struck down by the House, the company was unable to receive funds from the Food and Drug Administration in order to move forward with the approval. Despite the decision made by the House, the United States Department of Agriculture recently decided to help Aquabounty’s quest for the approval of genetically modified salmon by generously funding their cause with nearly $500,000.
One can only wonder why an organization like the USDA would fund research to help the frankenfish’s approval while one part of the legislative branch of government shoots it down. The question is, what could possibly cause the USDA to fund Aquabounty while there is so much controversy surrounding the salmon on a government level? Why would the USDA, an organization which stamps organic products with their seal to indicate no use of genetic modification, give money to a company to research and ultimately sell genetically modified salmon? The answers are unclear, but the actions exhibited by the USDA could very well reflect the personal goals of the members. Perhaps USDA members could have vested interest in the approval of genetically modified fish.
It may not be long until you find unlabeled genetically modified fish on your dinner plate. With Aquabounty receiving a very generous sum of money from the USDA, who knows the time it will take for them to conduct (or perhaps manipulate) the necessary research for their frankenfish to attain approval.