Whole Foods, Trader Joe's say no to genetically modified fish

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) could soon approve genetically engineered salmon, the first "transgenic" animal allowed to enter our food supply.

On Feb. 13, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously passed a resolution against it and now Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Marsh Supermarkets, Aldi and other food retailers announced they won't sell it if it's approved.

Since genetically modified organisms (GMO) are not labeled in the United States, you could buy this salmon from a grocery store or restaurant without knowing it.

The salmon is "made" by the company, AquaBounty Technologies, based in Massachusetts. By placing a growth hormone gene from Pacific salmon and a genetic switch from ocean pout into farmed Atlantic salmon, they have created "AquAdvantage Salmon," which grows twice as fast as other farmed salmon.

The genetic switch from the ocean pout keeps the transplanted gene from Chinook salmon continuously active, thus leading to faster growth.

That means genetically engineered salmon can get to market sooner and they can make more money, faster.

"This dangerous lab experiment is all hype and full of downsides to consumers, salmon growers and the environment," said Food & Water Watch, a consumer safety nonprofit.

"At least 35 other species of genetically engineered fish are currently under development, and the FDA’s decision on this genetically engineered salmon application will set a precedent for other genetically engineered fish and animals (including cows, chickens and pigs) to enter the global food market," said the Campaign for Genetically Engineered-Free Seafood (a coalition group of of retailers and consumers against the sale of genetically engineered fish) in a statement.

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