With Dylan Tomine‘s previous fine post on the impending FDA decision regarding GMO (genetically modified organism) salmon into the US market, wanted to follow up with the FDA ruling. Not only will there be no ban on sales of GMO salmon in the US, manufacturers (farmers? They sure as hell aren’t fishermen) will not only be allowed to bring the weresalmon to market, they will not be required to label them as such. With FDA rules only requiring labeling for anything that is different genetically, or in texture, taste or quality.
Japan and European countries require GMO labeling.
Apparently no one on the FDA has had a fresh sockeye — wild caught, bled on ice and delivered to market with craft and care — or their taste buds are so deadened from years of convincing themselves ketchup is a vegtable, that they honestly cannot taste the difference between a real fish, and a slow witted, glassy-eyed “Atlantic” salmon with a bit of Chinook and eel pout thrown in for good measure. The difference is like school lunch “hamburgers” compared to a grass-fed ribeye.
Assume the FDA is not on your side; which is safe at this point. Assume they are working to protect the interests of Archer-Daniel Midland, Monsanto, Cargill, and the like as they soon enough reach their tentacles into “aquaculture”. Educate yourself. Grow, hunt and fish for your own food when responsible and possible.
The easiest way to avoid GMO salmon (or any GMO “crops”) to begin with is, to know their source. Is it wild caught? Does the restaraunt or grocer know? Where did it come from? Which boat? If they can’t answer these questions, walk away. “Atlantic” salmon is code for farmed fish. They certainly aren’t gill-netting the Gaspe these days, and it is safe to assume that anything labeled as Atlantic salmon is farmed (99.5% of the global Atlantic salmon market is), and soon enough, GMO as well.
Wild salmon are either coho, sockeye, chinook, chum (keta), or pinks. There are no pout-salmon. Atlantic fish are not wild-caught.
Aside from the general creepiness of eating GMO food, as well as the lack of understanding of their long-term health effects, the practice of aquaculture in traditional wild salmon waters certainly has adverse effects in terms of increased parasitic levels — full-on lice “clouds”, waste, and competition with wild fish in the case of escapement. And lowers the perceived quality of all salmon, as well as prices for competing traditional commercial fishermen.
As fishers, we should be the first to ask the server or grocer where that salmon came from, what species it is and to verify that it is wild-caught. Friends don’t let friends eat farmed salmon. Let alone weresalmon.