Genetically modified fish

  • In Europe, public perception of genetically modified organisms is negative. This in turn influences a policy of stringent regulation on the use of GM materials.
  • In the US the GM discussion is less contentious and the Food and Drug Administration has recently completed analysis on a genetically modified salmon capable of growing 2-6 times the size of wild Atlantic salmon in half the time.
  • The study considered the impacts of the salmon on the environment. Concerns about the spread of foreign genes to wild species were addressed by rendering the modified salmon sterile and raising them in land.
  • As the oceans come under greater pressure to feed a growing population, attention may shift to increasing the capacity of the aquaculture industry. GM salmon may be one such method for increasing production though will inevitably raise questions about the environmental, health and political impacts of using GM materials.

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