September 10, 2019 at 10:42 pm #195748faelmoreParticipant
AquaAdvantage salmon is a faster growing salmon that was genetically engineered to grow twice as fast as salmo domesticus. It grows bigger in less time, is completely sterile, and all female. Salmo domesticus is reproductively sound (although unable to reproduce due to spawning location challenges), and can be male or female. They grow twice as fast as wild salmon and are typically bigger. AquaAdvantage fish are a better option for costs since they grow faster and spend less time in the tank. They are also easier to separate from wild salmon. As for genetic engineering being the next step in our food, I believe this to be true. Humans need food that can support the population in a relatively cheap and extremely efficient manner. It is essential that we maintain biodiversity, however, when working with bioengineering. Monoculture in any sense is extremely dangerous to not only our food supplies, but also the environment. Should something go wrong (such as a virus), then the whole species is at risk ad there is little to no resilience or bounce back. Genetic engineering is the necessary evil in the future of our food cultivation. Wild populations of any plant or animal are unlikely to support our growing population. Our environments natural carrying capacity has already been far exceeded, and we must continue to expand our boundaries of support if we are to survive at the current growth rate. There are, of course, different ways of going about this next step, but that does not change the fact that it is necessary.September 11, 2019 at 6:59 pm #195774ramaldonadoParticipant
I also agree that genetic engineering is the next step in supplying enough food for our already overgrown population. I would wonder, though, if there is some intermediate stage between the food that we have now and mass genetic engineering. Something that would actually sustain our growing human population before having to fully move into genetic engineering. For what it’s worth, I think if such a thing existed, humans would reject it in favor of having something that is at least similar to the food they are used to and like, even if it happens to be genetically modified.September 11, 2019 at 11:19 pm #195811hmbairdParticipant
I generally agree with what you have said in this post, but I find it helpful to try to play devil’s advocate sometimes. Mostly I find it interesting that you say that AquAdvantage salmon are entirely sterile, because AquaBounty’s own research implies that it is difficult to guarantee that all of their salmon are indeed sterile. From what I’ve read in my own research, AquaBounty guarantees that 95-99% of all of their salmon will be sterile. It’s hard to remove all doubt when stats show anything less than 100%, even if, for all intents and purposes, a stock truly functions as a sterile population.
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