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(Fish) Food for Thought

Just a quickie today. Please check out this article about the FDA’s plans to approve genetically engineered salmon, creepily called AquAdvantage. (To me, it sounds like something out of a dystopian novel like Margaret Atwood’s Oryx & Crake.)

Totally worth reading, by the way.

On Monday, the Washington Post quoted an FDA staff briefing, saying, “Food from AquAdvantage Salmon . . . is as safe to eat as food from other Atlantic salmon.” Enough said, if you ask me. In case you didn’t know this, research from the Environmental Working Group and the National Academy of Sciences has found that farmed salmon (i.e. Atlantic; wild Atlantic salmon is endangered almost to the point of extinction) is likely the most PCB-contaminated protein source in the U.S. food supply. (Just FYI,  PCBs were banned in the U.S. in the late 1970s, and they have been linked to cancer and impaired fetal brain development.) Farmed salmon are fattened with ground fishmeal and fish oils that are high in PCBs. As a result, salmon farming operations unnaturally concentrate PCBs and have a higher fat content. Therefore, farmed salmon contains 52 percent more fat than wild salmon, according to the USDA.

So, eat wild Pacific (Alaskan) salmon if you can. And if you, like me, think creating and selling super fast-growing Franken-fish seems like a really bad idea, please consider signing this petition. If nothing else, you’ll get an informative letter from Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. secretary for Health & Human Services. Thanks!

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