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Would You Eat Genetically Engineered Fish?

Posted November 11, 2011 8:30 AM

Researchers at GE have been experimenting with transgenic salmon since the early 80's. They have engineered a Chinook salmon that can withstand lower temperatures, enabling it to survive cold winters. But, their work is not without controversy. Some argue that genetically altered fish may contribute to the extinction of native species. Will genetically engineered salmon be accepted by consumers? Are there ramifications for species in the natural environment?

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#1

Re: Would You Eat Genetically Engineered Fish?

11/11/2011 4:51 PM

Would You Eat Genetically Engineered Fish? - Yes , why not?

"genetically altered fish may contribute to the extinction of native species". - The introduction of additional fish in the void zones of the oceans will increase the supply and prevent the hungry mobs of the world from over-utilizing the fish resources to the point of extinction.

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#3
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Re: Would You Eat Genetically Engineered Fish?

11/11/2011 7:39 PM

Not a chance in heck! That said I would have to know and our corupt gov. is siding with the GMO crowd. On the bright side there is a huge ground swell against this type of product and they are telling the market that they will not buy if (1) is is not labeled. (2) They will not buy GMO (3) they want organic or certified no GMO, hormones, antibiotics used in prevention. This action is having quite an impact already and looking forward to next couple of years. EU countries have banned all these products due to the proper science of impartial testing.

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#8
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Re: Would You Eat Genetically Engineered Fish?

11/11/2011 8:41 PM

I would not eat any GMO food if I can help it. There has been many studies proving that GMO foods are causing some harm to animals. I used to feed my chickens ground corn & after several months their eggs were becoming infertile. I try my best to not eat any GMO food but with the Federal Govt. helping the GMO industry (Monsanto) & refusing to make proper labeling mandatory, consumers are at their mercy.

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#11
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Re: Would You Eat Genetically Engineered Fish?

11/11/2011 9:31 PM

If it means anything since there is a lot of confusion over breeding V/S GMO may I suggest to my engineer friends to take a listen to Jeffrey Smith (Scientist) an expert on the subject along with many others. http://www.seedsofdeception.com/Public/Home/index.cfm

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#14
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Re: Would You Eat Genetically Engineered Fish?

11/11/2011 10:22 PM

What claim to the title of "Scientist" does Mr. Jeffrey Smith avow? I see nothing in the link to suggest that he has any scientific background at all. Mr. Smith's on-line bio says he is "...International bestselling author and independent filmmaker..."- I am afraid that does not qualify him as a scientist.

Then there is a significant misconstrual of information by calling Bovine Growth Hormone "genetically engineered". That is mixing technologies.

And why does Mr. Jeffrey Smith remind me so much of Jeremy Rifkin?

I am afraid you are going to have to give me a better "expert" to get my attention...

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#21
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Re: Would You Eat Genetically Engineered Fish?

11/12/2011 10:45 AM

They made a movie about this very topic. "Mimic".

What really bothers people about this?

Is it the introduction crowding out existing species? The other day the Western Black Rhino has been declared extinct. So crowding out or over hunting or poaching is already doing that. There are claims that the extinction could have been avoided but nobody wanted to listen to the organizations that were trying to save them. There are several species of tigers that will become extinct during our lifetime. So that process is happening whether we like it or not.

Is it the fear of the unknown? This is the big one. Maybe those genetically altered salmon are going to walk up on the beaches and eat the sunbathers or break up through the ice and eat some Eskimo that's ice fishing. Maybe the salmon will swim up the rivers and eat the grizzly bears.

The thing is if the salmon are genetically altered through artificial means, will they reproduce and continue spawning more salmon with the same traits? If they do, wouldn't the offspring be safe to eat since they themselves weren't subjected to the same treatments that the parents were?

I agree a full disclosure is called for. Government keeps us in the dark because that's their only real tool to having power over us. Look what that's brought about, severe divisions within the population so much so that we can't really pull it together in enforce any real change and a corrupt government that does what ever it wants despite what the people want.

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#2

Re: Would You Eat Genetically Engineered Fish?

11/11/2011 7:26 PM

What difference does it make?

If it goes anything like genetically engineered food crops, we'll never be told about it. At least not in the US. In fact, the government will prevent any measures to inform the public, from taking place.

Our government stomped out efforts to label nonGMO crops.........................and efforts to label GMO crops. Why would fish be any different?

We will eat what they say to eat. It's none of our business whether or not it's been modified. They know what's best for us. That's all we need to know.

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#4

Re: Would You Eat Genetically Engineered Fish?

11/11/2011 7:58 PM

Would I eat Genetically Engineered Fish? Of course. Virtually everything we eat has been genetically modified from the original wild ancestors. This has been going on for well over 12,000 years. Why the concern at this late date?

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#5
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Re: Would You Eat Genetically Engineered Fish?

11/11/2011 8:08 PM

Not quite the same.

There is a big difference between breeding to create the best traits within a species and gene splicing across different species.

That's not to say I wouldn't eat genetically modified fish or anything else. I would like to know what has been done to create this new breed. Secrecy in regard to something I'm ingesting makes me a little nervous...............especially when the government is complicit.

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#6
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Re: Would You Eat Genetically Engineered Fish?

11/11/2011 8:15 PM

I agree 100%

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#7
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Re: Would You Eat Genetically Engineered Fish?

11/11/2011 8:20 PM

"big difference"...Just where, exactly, do you draw the line between acceptable an non-acceptable methods of modifying the traits of a particular species?

Do you prefer your food doctored with hormones, antibiotics, and pesticides?

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#9
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Re: Would You Eat Genetically Engineered Fish?

11/11/2011 9:00 PM

cwarner7 11,

They are not modifying traits within species. This is not about cross pollinating a granny smith with a red delicious apple. This is about crossing genes between completely different species. Pig genes in tomatoes....................you name it, anything is possible. None of this genetic tinkering would ever occur naturally.

I'm not even saying that it crosses the line. What I am saying, is that there should be full disclosure and that we need to be extremely careful with this kind of stuff. We have no idea what the unintended consequences could be. None.

Would you really be that surprised if you woke up one day and found out that humans had accidentally thrown a previously unknown natural equilibrium completely out of whack?

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#10
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Re: Would You Eat Genetically Engineered Fish?

11/11/2011 9:18 PM

Previous species, beginning with the first successful anaerobic prokaryotes, have been throwing "previously unknown natural" equilibria out of whack for about 3.8 billion years, here on earth (specifically, these first life forms poisoned their world by increasing free oxygen to lethal levels in the oceans and atmosphere, thereby causing the first mass extinction recorded on earth). What kept life going was the evolution of species that could take advantage of this excessive oxygen. We humans are, of course, descendants of these very first anaerobic prokaryotes.

There is also very strong evidence that species have been sharing genes much longer than humans have been around, let alone practicing the art. Then there are viruses that have been insinuating their genetic material into other species since viruses have existed. We humans are only imitating natural processes.

Now, the alternative is to continue poisoning the soils with artificial fertilizers (which also run off into rivers and oceans, poisoning those environments as well) and pesticides, injecting our meat sources with all sorts of hormones and antibiotics and other drugs, and other such methods in an attempt to make sure there is enough food to feed 7 billion people for the foreseeable future.

Which do you prefer? Something that mimics nature, or something that battles nature?

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#12
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Re: Would You Eat Genetically Engineered Fish?

11/11/2011 9:41 PM

I agree with you, but c'mon, splicing genes between species does not imitate the natural evolutionary progression of a particular species.

To make matters worse, the resulting products of gene splicing are patentable, so the companies that are involved in it are saying, 'Damned the torpedoes, full steam ahead'.

This is really not an argument. I don't oppose it on religious grounds...............playing God................whatever. I'm not even sure that I oppose it at all. I just don't want to see the lust for money, the next big thing, etc., cloud the reality that some of these genetic experiments could go seriously awry if unleashed as a breeding organism into the natural world.

We need to be careful. That's my only point.

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#13
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Re: Would You Eat Genetically Engineered Fish?

11/11/2011 10:08 PM

I am adamantly opposed to the concept that a particular gene sequence- natural or "man made"- be patentable. Actually I am opposed to the current patent system, because it has evolved into an anti-competition tool rather than a means of encouraging innovation and invention. But that is another issue all together.

I agree we must be careful. I agree that the shroud of secrecy surrounding the colossal Monsanto is a frightening phenomenon. Unfortunately, I do not have an easy "fix" for this.

"...splicing genes between species does not imitate the natural evolutionary progression of a particular species." Unfortunately, I do not have ready access to appropriate citations. But it is not uncommon for genes to cross species boundaries in nature, especially at the microbe layer. This is one of the scary things about releasing antibiotics into the environment- species can "inherit" resistance genes from unrelated species...Granted, the process appears less common (if it happens at all) in multicellular organisms- although there has been some recent research suggesting that it may occasionally occur.

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#18
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Re: Would You Eat Genetically Engineered Fish?

11/12/2011 7:24 AM

You're right that natural adaptation has taken place over billions of years. We are now able to completely change the characteristics of species within weeks and it is anything but a natural occurrence.

A big part of the reason I think know we should be wary, is that I know myself. If I had the knowledge and capability to create new species through gene splicing and nobody was around to put a leash on me, I'd be trying out all kinds of crazy stuff........................just to see what happens.

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#19
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Re: Would You Eat Genetically Engineered Fish?

11/12/2011 8:07 AM

Yeees, except.

Except, that someting once done, cannot be undone. For good, bad or indifferent it is and will be with us for time immemorial.

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#20
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Re: Would You Eat Genetically Engineered Fish?

11/12/2011 8:16 AM

Right...........................I'm glad I don't know how to splice genes.

We need to keep a close eye on the people that do. Right now we are not. Monsanto seems to be immune from scrutiny.................at least in the US. If the people that are tinkering with fish and animal food stocks are able to purchase the same immunity from our regulatory agencies, the results could turn out to be less than desirable.

Actually, Monsanto has not only been able to purchase immunity, they have managed to splice their people into the regulatory process. Link attributed to member lighthasmass, from my GMO thread.

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#15

Re: Would You Eat Genetically Engineered Fish?

11/12/2011 12:19 AM

Actually, the introduction of "strange" genes was discussed on another thread to exhaustion, and was found: not everything that could be done, should be done.

CWarner may be philosophical about the upset caused by the oxygen generating microbes and the ensuing wholesale extinctions. But, I - as myself - belong to a species of anaerobics, and I strenously obiect to his cavalier handling of my future, and that of my progeny. I do not recall having given the authority.

And there is the rub. THAT subiect was explored in the times of the Recombinant Genetics. To a good satisfaction of the participants, I recount. When that proiect started, there was a big outcry. Some reality based, some worry based, nonetheless. Nonetheless, it was perceived as playing - irresponsibly - with OUR life. Before a real backlash developed, the leading lights of the field came together, and made a public compact. To not do certain things, and do certain things in isolation chambers. For technical reasons? NO. Research does not exist in a vacuum. When it is not supported, it is extinguished. Mankind, when it feels threatened, reacts on a basic, visceral level. And kills, what it perceives threatening. High level of philosophy does not even enter the arena, before the action is over and done with.

One has to be careful and sensible, when and how to push the limits.

Did I say, to be retarded, in a sense? No. I spoke heresy, by supporting the POSSIBILITY of faster than light neutrinos recently. A possibility needs exploration. The same is valid for biochemistry. Letting that loose on general populace? Well, that is an entirely, entirely different proposition, IMHO.

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#22
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Re: Would You Eat Genetically Engineered Fish?

11/12/2011 11:43 AM

Yes, we do want to be careful, no argument there. We do not want another asbestos-type situation to develop.

Issues I have with relying on government "regulation" include, firstly, governments are generally assembled from technically-challenged individuals (i.e., Al Gore as a climate expert or Jeremy Rifkin redefining entropy to suit his political ends); secondly, government regulation generally establishes "minimal" standards, and the focus becomes meeting these minimal standards, not exceeding them. Think of events like the contaminated peanuts event of last year (I think it was), or the contaminated spinach or contaminated chili peppers, or the recent new strain of bacteria in Europe. You probably have your own examples of failed government regulation to add to the list.

I don't have an answer, but I am pretty sure I am not in favor of reverting to the Stone Age...

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#16

Re: Would You Eat Genetically Engineered Fish?

11/12/2011 12:54 AM

There are some interesting arguments for and against GMO

"Corrupt Government"

First - I don't think any Government can beat ours.

Any country is governed in terms of legislation created by the Legislative authority executed by administrators bound to whatever powers and duties are conferred unto them by law,

It is the duty of each subject to be aware of the law and in even in a 3rd world country like SA every citizen has the right to be heard (and considered) on law.

My feeling is that if one did not care to participate in the process one cannot object to the results.

"Organic foods"

Obtain a copy of your law and Annalise it - I am Sure that you might be shocked,

"Policy of the EU"

The EU also makes decisions on other grounds.

For example : they are now prepared to import SA wine but will repack the wine in "green" bottles.

Advice - Get a copy of your local law and nail them if they don't comply.

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#17

Re: Would You Eat Genetically Engineered Fish?

11/12/2011 1:13 AM

I'm in Alaska, which remains one of the best wild salmon fisheries in the world. What's this business about "surviving cold winters"? Salmon don't stay where ice freezes their tails; they swim to liquid water. Thus genetic modification would be largely irrelevant.

That said, I neither automatically favor nor oppose genetic modification--but I do favor full disclosure of such efforts, so that either benefits or problems can be known publicly.

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#23
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Re: Would You Eat Genetically Engineered Fish?

11/12/2011 11:47 AM

"...but I do favor full disclosure of such efforts, so that either benefits or problems can be known publicly...."

I agree with you 100%- with the extension that we each be allowed to make our own choices based on our understanding of the best available information.

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#24

Re: Would You Eat Genetically Engineered Fish?

11/12/2011 7:38 PM

I live in Alaska. We know the result of introducing invasive species. Invasive species compete with native creatures for food and spawning areas. By introducing these "FrankenFish" you would have creatures living and feeding where other species currently do. The entire Eco system is threatened anytime you change something. Keep "FrankenFish" out of the ocean, as well as farmed salmon that don't belong there either. While we are at it help stop "Pebble Mine" from poisoning our salmon streams.

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#25
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Re: Would You Eat Genetically Engineered Fish?

11/13/2011 4:19 PM

Agreed. But we do have the ability to maintain both fresh and saltwater tanks. In a responsible scenario, Frankenfish could replace native species as a food source that could actually help the natives to survive and thrive. If it tastes good, I'll eat it. No problemo.

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#31
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Re: Would You Eat Genetically Engineered Fish?

11/14/2011 8:10 PM

You are a bit too fast there, mon ami. Some - I happened to know of - are not exactly innocent components. Genes from peanuts and brazil nuts are hell of allergic to some of, but nobody knows that to whom ahead of the time. Like poison ivy. No problem, until you hit your personal limit. After that you are in dudu for life. Then there is some parts of the Burgdorferi bacteria built in. It upsets the stomach of many leaf eating worms. They dry up and die. The problem is, that it is not published where it pops up, and a significant many of you gets the same kind "upset stomach". Did the maker admit to this before spreading? Nope. Did they know it? Not, that I can see. But it is out already.

You may be a tough guy in a barroom brawl. In here that may nothing. And it is worse, when it hits a loved one, and you are near helpless.

It does not evoke many neighbourly feeling in me toward the makers.

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#32
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Re: Would You Eat Genetically Engineered Fish?

11/15/2011 8:18 AM

I'm not moving too fast, besides, when faced with a barroom brawl, I tell jokes. Works every time and it keeps my beautiful face intact. I don't go to bars anymore anyway.

I'm not saying it should be an unregulated free for all. But I don't think research should be banned either. Every day there are more hungry mouths to feed. We need to be working on ways to safely feed them.

I don't really like the term frankenfish. It implies that it's all evil. Gene splicing could potentially lead to fish that have a high protein content, higher in vitamins, omega 3, etc. I do think that if they are able to create a superfish, in terms of food value, survivability, etc., that it needs to be contained, and not set loose to breed with wild species...............at least not right away. Any interbreeding should be done in captivity, and be observed for years, before anything is released into the wild.

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#26

Re: Would You Eat Genetically Engineered Fish?

11/13/2011 7:38 PM

If we put half the effort into conserving the natural/wild fish populations as we put into creating genetically modified fish, we wouldn't have the overfishing issue that we have today (may be a slight exaggeration - but the point is still the same).

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#27
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Re: Would You Eat Genetically Engineered Fish?

11/13/2011 7:46 PM

The only way you are going to "solve" the overfishing issue is by eliminating Government subsidies to the fishing industry. Which country provides more subsidies to their commercial fishing industry? The US, of course...

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#28
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Re: Would You Eat Genetically Engineered Fish?

11/14/2011 10:41 AM

Do you think it is still "solve"-able? Are we past the point of no return?

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#29
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Re: Would You Eat Genetically Engineered Fish?

11/14/2011 10:54 AM

Are we past the point of no return? In some cases, very likely. Will we be able to halt the rape of the oceans in time to mitigate the situation with respect to specific species? Unlikely, but not too hopeful.

Time will tell. When costs to capture wild species exceeds the cost of "farming" them, we may see some relief. That's why you have to get rid of subsidies to the fishing industry world wide...

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#30
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Re: Would You Eat Genetically Engineered Fish?

11/14/2011 11:33 AM

I don't think we're past the point of no return.

I also think this research and genetic tinkering is important. I just don't want to see them unleash something on the wild populations that could be harmful, and that they can't reverse.

I really think that fish farming in large tanks will eventually become so easy and cost effective that it will replace dragging nets. I hope so anyway.

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