September 9, 2019 at 8:15 pm #195719alwhitney2Participant
In the rest of the chapter, Greenburg introduces us to AquaAdvantage salmon. They are genetically modified, created by copying the salmon growth hormone gene. According to Greenburg, they grow twice as fast as the already selectively bred salmon (pp. 66). And According to AquaBounty (the company who developed them), all will “be female, and sterile (unable to reproduce)” (pp. 67). This is, in theory, a great improvement over Salmo domesticus, which has the ability to escape and breed with wild stock. So, this should be a safer alternative to regular, selectively bred salmon, as they will not be able to contaminate the wild stocks with their genes. Furthermore, according to AquaBounty, they are all developed in physically contained production systems, so they should not even be capable of escaping, and have no ability to spread disease to wild fish.
Yes, I do believe that genetic engineering is the next step in cultivating our food. As Greenburg points out, they are 7 humans to every 1 wild salmon. If every human desired a salmon, they would be instantly extinct. Even if salmon were to become an expensive commodity, people still need to eat other food. Salmon are the first genetically modified fish, but there genetically engineered plants in our grocery stores right now. Corn, canola, and soybean are 3 major GMO crops approved by the FDA, that we’ve likely all eaten at some point. With a 7.7 billion population and growing, the space to raise our food is becoming smaller, but the demand for food even greater. While there is an argument to be made that genetically engineering our food is just a band-aid to a larger symptom (overpopulation), until the human population lowers, there are mouths to feed. And I think that genetic engineering in the next best possible step to do that.September 11, 2019 at 10:58 am #195759hcbassParticipant
It does seem like this is our best option of two bad choices. Some would say that GMOs are bad for our health, but there’s really not much science to prove that. It seems like this is the best option we have until we can figure something else out to provide enough food for our population. Though, I think researches should be looking at how to use the food we have now more efficiently since so much is thrown our or goes to waste each year.September 11, 2019 at 12:38 pm #195764AJParticipant
There’s no solid evidence proving genetically engineered food is flat out bad, but I think we should still approach the option carefully. For example, consider corn. In Mexico there is real concern in preserving and protecting the original varieties of Native Mexican corns from the monopoly of GMO corn and modification of Native corn by GMO corn. Consider: who knows about red, black, or blue corn? Yet, who doesn’t know about yellow corn?
I think we should be very careful in our hunger for production. In the excitement and search for finding a single, efficient solution, we might forget about the diversity around us.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.