The Effects Of Genetically Modified Salmon

1138 words - 5 pages

Society is built on greed; people want everything to be fast, easy and beneficial. One way this is possible is through molecular genetics. Scientists have discovered that they can play God. They can add genes to organisms to make them better benefit people's demands. For the past 20 years or so, scientists have been genetically modifying plants and more recently they have started on animals. (Martin, Andrew. "Will FDA bite..."). A lot of fruits and vegetables have been altered by adding genes that will keep them fresher, make them bigger, grow faster, etc. So now scientists have been trying this with animals, more specifically with salmon.Salmon is ranked third among most popular seafood in ...view middle of the document...

Therefore genetically modified salmon has more positive benefits but the negative ones still yield an unpredictable amount of concern.A positive benefit about GM salmon is that they can be grown faster and in colder climates than the regular fish. Elliot Entis, president of Aqua Bounty Farms, said the salmon "Have a growth rate of up to 600 percent higher than its non-transgenic cousins and can reach harvest size in about 16 - 18 months." (Fishmonger News Network. "Aqua Bounty Farms..."). His company has proved that in 14 months, they can grow a fish 15 inches in length with a weight of 6.6 pounds, instead of a native salmon 3 - 4 inches. Entis also said other than the growth rate both fish are basically the same. The only exception is the possibility that the genetically altered salmon have a lower fat level. Since the gene enables the salmon to survive in colder waters, fish farmers can grow in the North, which may also provide more jobs. Thus, growing the fish quicker is a very positive benefit.Another advantage is that more people will be able to afford the fish. Since the companies can grow the salmon in less than half the usual time, there will be a greater demand for them. The production costs will lower, forcing lower prices in stores and increase spending on salmon. (AgBioForum. "Unacknowledged Health Benefits..."). Countries that are in desperate need of food would be able to purchase the fish and a lot more of them for that matter. Millions of people around the world could be saved from starving to death."Estimates vary from between 600 million to 1 billion people suffering malnutrition to the point where their health, productivity and life expectancy are impaired. Studies in 2002 indicate that 20,000 individuals die each day of hunger-related causes. This figure is a significant decline from our earlier, widely-used estimate of 35,000 per day." (The Hunger Project. "Frequently Asked Questions...").So if companies such as New Zealand King Salmon Limited or Aqua Bounty Farms grow their genetically engineered salmon, there will be plenty of fish to ship around the world to people dieing of starvation. Hence, saving millions of people's lives is another benefit to genetically modified...

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