GMO Salmon Swimming against a Current of Anti-Science

AquaBounty Technologies, makers of a genetically improved farm salmon, may finally see FDA approval, according to a Fox News article. I say finally, because the fish have been waiting for regulatory approval for nearly two decades.

The salmon in question are a potential breakthrough. This new farm variety is nutritionally equivalent, tastes the same and is just as safe to eat as its conventional counterpart, but touts one important difference. The genetically engineered salmon borrows a gene from a cousin fish, which allows it to reach maturity in about half the time.

Attacking the fish, anti-GMO activists have labeled the salmon “frankenfish” and are working hard to make sure that even if the FDA stops blocking the fish’s path, consumers at the supermarket will be too scared to eat it. Already feeling the pressure, a number of grocers have vowed not to sell the salmon.

The article quotes American Enterprise Institute visiting fellow Jon Entine, who makes the point that even though opposition to the salmon is not based on science, it still may be a long time before customers embrace the fish:

“This is a marathon, not a sprint,” Entine says. “Ten years from now the educated public is going to look back with a great sense of embarrassment at how fiercely groups that call themselves ‘progressive’ whipped up emotional concerns about whether GMOs are safe or sustainable. This opposition is based on ideology trumping science, at least in the short term.”

Read the whole thing here.