Remember all those industry claims that genetically-modified (GM) AquAdvantage salmon would not be harmful to the environment in any way, and would not breed with other fish because it is inherently sterile? These are both lies, according to a new study out of Canada, which found that “Frankensalmon” is fully capable of breeding with other salmon, as well as other fish species such as trout. This same study also found that the resulting hybrid fish can persist in the wild, permanently damaging entire ecosystems.
Researchers from McGill University in Quebec, Canada, arrived at this dire conclusion after conducting their own independent experiments on what would happen if GM salmon escaped from their fish pens into the wild. In a simulation that looked at how GM salmon would behave in a simple stream environment, it became apparent that Frankenfish are not sterile, and that they reproduced with other fish. The Frankenfish also “out competed” wild fish in the study, proving that they can very easily become a dominant and invasive species.
Published in the journal Proceedings of The Royal Society B, the findings basically contradict everything that AquaBounty, creator of AquAdvantage GM salmon, has ever alleged concerning the “safety” of its Frankensalmon. The modified fish, which supposedly grows twice as fast as natural salmon, is a serious threat to the environment at large, and if it were to ever escape into the wild the consequences would be disastrous and irreversible.
“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study demonstrating transmission and ecological consequences from interspecific hybridization between a GM animal and a naturally hybridizing species,” says Dr. Krista Oke, who led the study. “Ultimately, hybridization of transgenic fishes with closely related species represents potential ecological risks for wild populations.”
GM hybrid fish found to reverse ‘benefits’ of original GM salmon by stunting their growth
Specifically, the data shows that GM hybrid salmon have a significantly increased advantage over wild salmon in terms of their ability to scavenge food. Worse, these same hybrids were also shown to affect the overall size of native fish species – GM hybrid salmon effectively reduced the overall growth of GM salmon by 82 percent, and non-GM salmon by 54 percent, which completely reverses any alleged benefit of GM salmon in the first place.
“Although transgenic hybrids would likely be rarer in the wild than in our experiment, our results indicate that transgenic hybrids have a competitive advantage over salmon in at least some semi-natural conditions,” adds Dr. Oke. “If this advantage is maintained in the wild, transgenic hybrids could detrimentally affect wild salmon populations.”
Since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to welcome GM salmon into the transgenic fold with open arms, it is crucial that vigilant citizens continue to push back against this latest GMO abomination. Though the official public comment period has ended, you can still contact the FDA and urge the agency to block approval for AquAdvantage, or any other GM fish species for that matter.
Contact information for the FDA can be found here:
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