Mankind has irrevocably altered the natural ecosystem. We’ve polluted the oceans, the atmosphere and the soil, we’ve cut down rainforests and sought to conquer even the most inhospitable of places on Earth. When it seemed that it couldn’t get any worse, Murphy’s Law showed us otherwise. We started playing the role of creators by genetically modifying the organisms around us. In the beginning, there were lab experiments with microorganisms. Plants soon followed and then animals. Nowadays, we’re modifying human DNA.
GMO foods are not safe, and that is a fact. This is why Oregon has already taken
steps to allow its citizens to make the distinction between transgenic, regular and organic salmon. What they acknowledged is the twisted fact that genetic engineering started before we could fully understand its effects. We still don’t. As a result, GM crops have wrought chaos in numerous ecosystems around the world, increased our risk of developing health conditions like allergies or cancer and even killed people. While some consumers might be persuaded by companies who claim they feed the poor and that there are no health risks from their products, not everyone is fooled.
GM salmon is the new Frankenfood
Last fall, the federal government and the FDA gave official approval for AquaBounty’s GM salmon. Under their claims, there is no evidence that this fish poses any threats to human physiology. Moreover, the agencies also claim that the fish is perfectly safe for the environment.
But the studies performed on GM salmon are specifically designed to cover a small amount of time, so that the true impacts of GM organisms are not accurately revealed by the data. What’s more, despite claiming otherwise, the fish is not 100% sterile and, when it successfully breeds with a wild variety, it can cause a chain reaction of genetic pollution in the ecosystem. First, the entire population of natural salmon as we know it may be altered. Then, the sea’s entire ecosystem will start inheriting the transgenic characteristics that were artificially given to the fish. There’s no telling where the damage will stop or how grave its consequences will be.
For this reason, Oregon passed House Bill 4122, lawfully requiring food manufacturers to label their products accordingly if they contain GMO salmon. The reasoning behind this decision started from the idea that the citizens deserve the right to know what kind of food they eat. If the label doesn’t specify, we’re completely in the dark. What’s worse, if there’s nothing to say what the difference is, it’s very likely that GM salmon will end up in our carts, since it could be marketed at more affordable prices.