||[Oct. 7th, 2010|01:12 pm]
Someone posted a link to Everything You Need To Know About Genetically Modified Salmon to a mailing list I'm on. I can only offer this paraphrase:|
Q: What is AquaAdvantage?
A: It's an Atlantic Salmon with some genes from Chinook salmon and a
fish called ocean pout.
Q: Does it grow very fast?
A: Twice as fast as an unmodified salmon.
Q: Isn't that a little uncomfortable for the fish?
A: We have absolutely clue whatsoever but we hope we can make you feel
bad for the fish by telling you a story that some unspecified other
animals that underwent a completely different process ended up with
Q: But is the AquAdvantage™ salmon safe to eat?
A: We rely on the logical fallacy that unless something is absolutely
proven to be safe, it is unsafe - and of course we'll make up the
standard of safety to be something vastly beyond any other activity or
food involved in your daily life. There is no reason to believe that
this fish is unsafe in any way, but by telling you irrelevant things
(they only tested 12 fish! they only tested fish grown in Canada, not
fish grown in Panama!) we hope to create a seed of doubt in your mind.
Q: Wait, the AquAdvantage™ salmon is being grown in Panama?
A: Yes, with eggs grown in Canada.
Q: But they'll be labeled as genetically modified salmon so I know
what I'm eating, right?
A: No. They will be labeled as "Atlantic salmon."
Q: But why are they being grown in Panama?
A: First, surrounding warm waters make it less likely (probably
impossible) for escapees to survive to contaminate the gene pool.
Second, we want to scare you by making you think that things grown in
Panama aren't safe! Nevermind all the bananas, caught fish, or other
agricultural products you consume from that region. Oh, and we won't
mention the biggest likely reason: Panama has a stable government,
solid currency, good infrastructure, an educated workforce, a thriving
economy, and is a zillion times cheaper than most of the "first
Q: What about the food miles required to ship those eggs and salmon
all over the place?
A: Here's where we make our hypocrisy clear because in a couple
paragraphs we're going to suggest wild-caught Alaskan salmon as a good
alternative. Fortunately Americans are so ignorant of geography that
they won't notice that Panama is closer to most of the US than Alaska
is. And they probably have no idea that fed-exing a box of salmon
eggs is a nonissue.
Q: Only 10 percent less feed? I thought less feed was the point
A: No, growing twice as fast is the point. Which sounds like a point
in the fish's favor but we're going to try to confuse you with a buch
of weasely but scary-looking statements that all begin with
"Greenpeace asserts that [the salmon] may..."
Q: But then who benefits from this faster growth rate?
A: AquaBounty. And all the consumers of salmon, but we won't mention
them because, if it's not obvious enough by now, we're in this because
we think humans shouldn't fuck with nature, not because we give a shit
about the consumer.
Q: But won't having more salmon on the market take pressure off
endangered stocks of wild salmon?
A: Well, actually, yes. But that's not what we'll say. We're going
to tell you that the wild stocks haven't been exhausted yet, so don't
worry about it! Also, here's where we suggest you eat Alaskan salmon
- fortunately you flunked geography.
Q: Still, AquaBounty says that it will grow its fish in closed
containment facilities and that this will be better for the
environment: no escapes, no disease transfer, right?
A: Yes. But we're still going to draw this paragraph out, change the
subject, and talk about other farmed fish that don't grow twice as
fast. We don't know why, we just like talking.
Q: Is the AquAdvantage™ salmon "inevitable"?
A: No. Neither is nuclear energy, the computer age, or the existence
of this parasite called humanity. With enough agitprop, you too can
save gaia from the two-legged menace.
Q: Which organizations are opposing the FDA approval of the
A: Food and Water Watch and The Center for Food Safety are
particularly active. As is everyone who owns a fishing boat.
Q: Would you eat the AquAdvantage™ salmon?
A: I would not. Unless I got really really stoned and my buddy was
like, try these potato chips but they were really chunks of salmon and
OMG I was expecting crunchy but they were squishy and that was so
funny but I thought what if I sliced the salmon really thin and fried
it could I make salmon chips that weren't squishy?