At hearings on the GMO salmon many are referring to as “Frankenfish, the FDA noted evidence of abnormalities that had been detected in the fish, including "“increased frequency of skeletal malformations, increased prevalence of jaw erosions and multi-systemic inflammation”. While such findings would seem to be cause for alarm, the FDA instead dismissed the abnormalities as being “within the range observed in rapid growth phenotypes of non-genetically engineered Atlantic salmon.”
In other words, the abnormalities that were found in GMO salmon were consistent with those found in farmed salmon which had been genetically manipulated for accelerated growth through other means. Does comparing GMO salmon to factory farmed fish instead of salmon found in their natural environment mean that GMO salmon are safe or is it more an indictment of other factory farmed fish? The logic the FDA used is reminiscent of the studies that found MSG was safe because its side effects were not significantly worse than a control substance it was compared against. The control substance: Aspartame.
A closer look at farmed salmon does not paint a picture of healthy fish. For example in Chile, where most of our factory-farmed salmon come from, up to 80 percent of the salmon suffer from a condition called “screamer disease,” where severe facial disfigurements lock their jaws permanently open.
In Norway, another major salmon exporter to the United States, “humpback” spinal compression deformities have been found in 70 percent of salmon farm operations. Twenty different types of spinal malformations have been repeatedly found in factory-farmed Atlantic salmon – abnormalities which have been linked to the physiological stress of intensive production.
GMO salmon would be the first transgenic farm animal approved for human consumption. Approval could open up a floodgate of other genetically engineered animals, and perhaps a Pandora’s Box as well. What if, for example, huge cows were created which had to be delivered via Caesarian section? Already there are breeds of genetically defective “double-muscled” created cattle.