This post is written by Birke Baehr, a 13 year-old organic farming advocate and author. I’m excited to announce he is now a regular contributor here on Food Babe – please give him a warm welcome!
Something sneaky is happening over at the FDA these days…
Genetically Engineered Salmon known as AquAdvantage salmon has been developed by a company named Aqua Bounty Technologies and has been the first genetically modified animal to be considered “fit” for human consumption. It is currently up for approval at the FDA – set to be approved in late February…unless we speak up.
This AquAdvantage salmon is made by adding the growth hormone regulating gene from a Pacific Chinook Salmon and a promoter gene from an eel like fish to the Atlantic’s 40,000+ genes. The eel has a special “anti freeze” gene, that will allow the Atlantic Salmon to grow twice as fast in the winter, when it usually doesn’t grow that much at all. The salmon will grow year-round vs. only two seasons normally and will grow to market size in 16 to 18 months rather than three years.
Growing bigger and faster means more profit for salmon farmers, but will this greater profit be at the expense of human health?
Picture courtesy of Institute of Responsible Technology
Genetically engineered foods pose substantial health risks, including accelerated aging, infertility and immune system dysfunction, according to The American Academy of Environmental Medicine.
Health risks are always a nice add on to any GE foods (insert sarcasm here), but consider this. I discovered that scientists recently have found that the growth hormone gene that has been injected into the beefed-up salmon, has higher levels of the cancer promoting hormone IGF-1 which is the same hormone that has caused much controversy in the past with the dairy industry.
Didn’t the FDA learn their lesson with approving rBGH (i.e. recombinant bovine growth hormone) that has the same exact hormone IGF-1? After dairy companies and organizations had to ban its use due to mass consumer disapproval? Now that rBGH is frowned upon by so many large organizations including the American Public Health Association and the American Nurses Association, most other countries, and now by almost all US dairies.
Heck, even Wal-Mart won’t allow the stuff into their milk! My take on this is, if we let this salmon on the market it probably won’t belong before it’s “frowned upon” too. Why don’t we stop these attacks on our health before they reach the supermarkets?
It was discovered by a study done by Purdue University that when only 60 “frankenfish” were released into a habitat of about 60,000 wild fish that in only 40 fish generations there was a complete extinction! I don’t know about you but this doesn’t sound very good.
Just in a little longer than my lifetime (I’m 13) we’ve already seen that when GM foods enter our supermarkets that food allergies heighten. Are we going to wait just a few more years to find that people will start having fish allergies and the FDA will say they don’t know why? Or will they approve some kind of pharmaceutical to combat the allergy? Where must we draw the line?
Many might say our dinner tables or at the supermarket. But, I believe we must stop it at the source and expose these conglomerations for what they are doing.Let’s stop the invasion of these frankenfoods! I like to say that, we can all make a difference by voting everyday for what we wish for our food “system” to become, and then I heard a very wise person say, “That our dollar is our ballot and we must vote for the right candidate!” and we all vote with our dollars every time we go to the grocery store.
Let’s make a difference by going out and sharing this knowledge with our friends & family. Get involved in your community, share this post and let folks know about the products being snuck into our food supply.
And last, but not least, SIGN THIS PETITION asking Obama to stop the approval of GMO Salmon.
I truly believe we can have a safe, clean, and dependable food system if we all work together.
“Agriculture…is our wisest pursuit, because it will in the end contribute most to real wealth, good morals and happiness.” ~ Thomas Jefferson
More About Birke Baehr -
An Internationally recognized speaker and youth advocate for sustainable food and agriculture, Birke has visited and volunteered at farms around the United States and recently published his first book, “Birke On The Farm“. Birke has spent the last four years traveling around the United States and Italy visiting organic farms and learning from the farmers who steward those farms. He has attended numerous organic agriculture seminars and workshops; including one with renowned farmer and author, Joel Salatin who Birke looks up to in his pursuit of new thinking about food and agriculture. Birke continues to educate himself in this genre and intends to be a sustainable organic agriculturist in the future. He has a passion for educating others, especially his peers, about the destructiveness of the industrialized food system and the enlightening alternatives of sustainable and organic farming, food and practices. You can follow Birke on Facebook and Twitter.