AirTalk for June 29, 2010

A bigger, better fish, but is it safe?: FDA considers approval of genetically-modified salmon

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David McNew/Getty Images

Shoppers select salmon in a large chain food store August 19, 2008 in Glendale, California.

Many people love a good slice of fresh salmon. And, they say, salmon’s good for your health. The problem: it’s expensive. And demand is just making it harder to find at a good price. AquaBounty Technologies, a bio-tech firm in Waltham, MA thinks it has the answer: a genetically engineered salmon that grows at twice the normal rate. They’ve now submitted the details necessary for the Food and Drug Administration to consider allowing the fish on supermarket shelves. But should they? Some scientists worry that the genetic engineering of the fish may pose health risks. How safe is this salmon, and would you eat it?

Guests:

Val Giddings, a biotech scientist and consultant. He spent eight years with the USDA conducting environmental risk assessments of transgenic crops and he worked for the Biotechnology Industry Organization for nine years.

Michael Hansen, Senior scientist at Consumers Union, the advocacy group that publishes Consumer Reports


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